Body composition and fat distribution influence systemic hemodynamics in the absence of obesity: The HyperGEN Study

Giovanni De Simone, Richard B. Devereux, Jorge R. Kizer, Marcello Chinali, Jonathan N. Bella, Albert Oberman, Dalane W. Kitzman, Paul N. Hopkins, D. C. Rao, Donna K. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: We have shown that increased cardiac output is related to both fat-free mass and fat mass in obesity. Objective: We studied the association of body fat distribution and body composition with flow-resistance relations in overweight. Design: We studied 521 overweight, nonobese participants in the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network (HyperGEN) Study-a component of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Blood Pressure Program, designed to assess the genetic basis of hypertension. Participants had normal ventricular function and no cardiovascular disease: 261 with central fat distribution (CFD) (waist girth >88 cm in women and >102 cm in men) and 260 with peripheral fat distribution (PFD). Fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) were measured by bioelectric impedance. Body composition was estimated as FM/FFM. Echocardiographic stroke volume (SV) and cardiac output (CO) were measured. Results: Hypertension was present in 73% of the subjects with PFD and in 78% with CFD. Overweight with CFD was associated with greater FM/FFM in both normotensive and hypertensive participants. After FFM, age, sex, and race were controlled for, SV and CO were higher in subjects overweight with CFD than in those with PFD, whereas peripheral resistance was not significantly different. Differences in CO between CFD and PFD were reduced after further adjustment for FM. After the covariates were controlled for, hypertensive subjects had higher peripheral resistance and lower arterial compliance than did normotensive participants, but cardiac output was not significantly different. Conclusion: CFD is associated with more severe abnormalities in body composition and with higher CO independently of FFM in overweight, nonobese subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-761
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • Blood pressure
  • Body composition
  • Cardiac output
  • Fat-free mass
  • Obesity
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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