Association between obesity and heart failure symptoms in male and female patients

S. Heo, D. K. Moser, S. J. Pressler, S. B. Dunbar, K. S. Lee, J. Kim, T. A. Lennie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In patients with heart failure (HF), higher body mass index (BMI) has been associated with lower rates of hospitalization and mortality (obesity paradox). Symptoms are antecedents of hospitalizations, but little is known about the relationship between BMI and symptoms and gender differences. To examine the association of BMI with symptoms in male and female patients with HF, controlling for covariates (sample characteristics, depressive symptoms and sodium intake). In this cross-sectional correlational study, patients (N = 247) provided data on BMI, symptoms and covariates. BMI was categorized into four groups: normal/underweight (<25 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.9 kg/m2), obese I (30–34.9 kg/m2) and obese II/III (≥35 kg/m2). General linear regression was used to analyse the data. The Obese II/III group had more severe HF symptoms than other groups only in male patients. In male patients, older age, Caucasian race, more comorbidities and more severe depressive symptoms were also associated with more severe symptoms. In female patients, more severe depressive symptoms, more comorbidities and higher sodium intake were associated with more severe symptoms. The obesity paradox does not fully extend to symptoms, and gender has a role in the relationship between obesity and symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study came from an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to Seongkum Heo; the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) R01 NR009280 to Terry Lennie; Center grant NIH, NINR, 1P20NR010679 to Debra Moser, and, in part, PHS Grant M01 RR0039 from the General Clinical Research Center program, NINR and PHS Grant UL1 RR025008 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, NIH, National Center for Research Resources to D. Stephens and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NINR or the NIH. For the remaining authors none was declared.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 World Obesity Federation


  • Depression
  • heart failure
  • obesity
  • sodium
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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