FRIDAY, Oct. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For Asian patients with heart failure, those who are lean-fat with a high waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and low body mass index (BMI) have the worst outcomes, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in PLOS Medicine.

Chanchal Chandramouli, Ph.D., from the National Heart Centre Singapore, and colleagues examined the correlation between obesity and heart failure outcomes using data from the Asian Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure registry. A total of 5,964 patients with symptomatic heart failure were included; 2,051 patients had WHtR measurements.

The researchers found that higher BMI was associated with a lower risk for the one-year composite outcome (heart failure hospitalization or mortality) across BMI quartiles. Higher WHtR correlated with an increased risk for the composite outcome. Compared with other groups, individuals with low BMI and high WHtR (lean-fat group) were more likely to be women and from low-income countries; they also had a higher prevalence of diabetes, worse quality-of-life scores, and a higher rate of the composite outcome. The lean-fat group had a higher adjusted risk for the composite outcome compared with the group with high BMI and low WHtR (obese-thin group), following multivariable adjustment (hazard ratio, 1.93).

“Combined usage of BMI and abdominal measures could potentially inform heart failure management better, especially among the particularly vulnerable patients with low BMI and high WHtR,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, which partially funded the study.

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