Cardiovascular Risk May Vary According to the Distribution of Epicardial, Not Abdominal, Fat

 

July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012 — Researchers have announced the results of a study that highlights the use of echocardiography in identifying the epicardial fat pad that is strongly associated with arterial stiffness.

A poster based on the study, which was conducted by a team led by primary investigator Dr. Hitomi Sakamoto and lead author Dr. Norihisa Toh of Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan, will be displayed on Sunday, July 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the exhibit and poster hall during the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 23rd Annual Scientific Sessions. Investigators will be available in the hall from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The conference will be held from June 27 to July 3, 2012, at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD.

In a unique study, investigators were able to determine that fatty deposits around the heart — known as epicardial fat — identified by echocardiography is strongly associated with increased stiffness of the arteries in the body. This is an important finding due to the fact that the fat around the heart, as opposed to increased abdominal fat, predicts increased stiffness of the arteries. Arterial stiffness is known to be a marker of an increased risk of heart disease.