Overall and abdominal obesity are well-established risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. However, associations of overall and abdominal adiposity with electrocardiographic (ECG) markers of subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) have not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, we investigated these associations in a population without preexisting CVD. We performed cross-sectional analyses in the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity Study. Body mass index (BMI), total body fat, and waist circumference were assessed in all participants, and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue (by magnetic resonance imaging) were assessed in a random subgroup. ECG parameters were determined using 12-lead electrocardiograms. We performed linear regression analyses, adjusting for potential confounding factors and, when investigating abdominal adiposity, additionally for total body fat. After exclusion of participants with preexisting CVD (n = 654), 5,939 individuals (42% men) were analyzed, with a mean (SD) age of 55 (6) years and BMI of 26.3 (4.4) kg/m 2 . Measures of both overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with ECG parameters but none of these measures was more strongly associated than the others. For example, heart rate (beats/min) increased per SD higher BMI (2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.9,2.5), total body fat (2.9; 2.4,3.4), subcutaneous adipose tissue (2.3;1.7,2.9), waist circumference (2.1; 1.4,2.8), and visceral adipose tissue (1.7; 0.8,2.5). In subgroup analyses based on gender and cardiovascular risk factors, no consistent interactions were observed. In conclusion, in a middle-aged population without preexisting CVD, measures of both overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with ECG parameters. Future studies should evaluate the added value of adiposity measures in electrocardiography-based diagnoses and the prognostic value of adding adiposity measures to risk prediction tools.
Elffers, T. W., de Mutsert, R., Lamb, H. J., Maan, A. C., Macfarlane, P. W., Willems van Dijk, K., … Trompet, S. (2018). Relation of Overall and Abdominal Adiposity With Electrocardiogram Parameters of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease in Individuals Aged 45 to 65 Years (from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity Study). American Journal of Cardiology, 121(5), 570–578. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2017.11.030