Obesity and heart failure: explaining the obesity paradox

The effects of obesity and weight loss in heart failure, imaging the obesity paradox using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy

Oliver Rider (lead researcher)

Oxford, University of

Start date: 01 November 2014 (Duration 3 years)

Although obesity increases the chance of developing heart failure, when patients have heart failure they may live longer if they are obese. This unexpected finding is termed the 'obesity paradox' and the reasons behind it are currently unknown.

In addition, although we know that it’s beneficial to the heart to lose weight if you are obese without heart failure, and that losing weight increases life expectancy, it is unknown whether the same is true for people with heart failure.

Here, the researchers will use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to measure heart and skeletal (calf) muscle structure, function and energy levels in obese patients with heart failure and normal weight patients with heart failure to get to the bottom of the relationship between obesity and life expectancy in the condition. The researchers will also compare the effects of weight loss in obese subjects with and without heart failure.

In addition to improving our understanding of the relationship between obesity and the heart, this research should help to clarify if we should recommend weight loss in obese patients with heart failure, and contribute to guidelines for weight management in heart failure.

Project details

Grant amount £288,409
Grant type Fellowship
Application type Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Start Date 01 November 2014
Duration 3 years
Reference FS/14/54/30946
Status In progress

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