Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background The aim of this systematic review was to quantify the associations between body composition measures and risk of incident heart failure (HF) and its subtypes in the general population. Methods and Results We searched Medline, Embase, and Global Health databases from each database inception to January 19, 2023 for prospective studies reporting on body composition and HF risk. We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The Newcastle-Ottawa scale was used to assess the risk of bias of included studies. Fixed-effects models were used for meta-analysis. Thirty-five studies were included (ntotal=1 137 044; ncases=34 422). Summary relative risk (RR) per 5-kg/m2 higher body mass index was 1.42 (95% CI, 1.40-1.42; 𝜁2=0.02, I2=94.4%), 1.28 (95% CI, 1.26-1.31; 𝜁2=0.01, I2=75.8%) per 10-cm higher waist circumference, and 1.33 (95% CI, 1.28-1.37; 𝜁2=0.04, I2=94.9%) per 0.1-unit higher waist-hip ratio. Pooled estimates of the few studies that reported on regional fat suggested significant positive association between HF risk and both visceral fat (RR, 1.08 [95% CI, 1.04-1.12]) and pericardial fat (RR, 1.08 [95% CI, 1.06-1.10]). Among HF subtypes, associations were stronger for HF with preserved ejection fraction than HF with reduced ejection fraction. No study reported on lean mass. Conclusions Pooled data suggested strong associations between adiposity and HF. The association with adiposity is stronger for HF with preserved ejection fraction than HF with reduced ejection fraction, indicating that different mechanisms may be at play in etiopathogenesis of HF subtypes. Future studies are needed to investigate role of regional fat mass and lean mass in HF risk. Registration Information REGISTRATION: URL: Unique identifier: CRD42020224584.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Heart Assoc

Publication Date





adiposity, body composition, body mass index, heart failure, systematic review, Humans, Adult, Prospective Studies, Heart Failure, Obesity, Waist-Hip Ratio, Adiposity, Ventricular Dysfunction, Left, Stroke Volume