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Original Research |

Pericardial Fat Is Associated With Impaired Lung Function and a Restrictive Lung Pattern in AdultsCardiac Adiposity and Lung Function and Pattern: The Jackson Heart Study

DeMarc A. Hickson, PhD, MPH; Jiankang Liu, MD, PhD; Aurelian Bidulescu, MD, PhD, MPH; Cecil M. Burchfiel, PhD, MPH; Herman A. Taylor, MD, MPH; Marcy F. Petrini, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Jackson Heart Study (Drs Hickson and Taylor), Jackson State University, Jackson, MS; the School of Medicine (Drs Hickson, Liu, Taylor, and Petrini), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS; the Cardiovascular Research Institute (Dr Bidulescu), Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; and the Health Effects Laboratory Division (Dr Burchfiel), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH.

Correspondence to: DeMarc A. Hickson, PhD, MPH, Jackson State University, Jackson Heart Study, 350 W Woodrow Wilson Dr, Ste 701, Jackson, MS 39213; e-mail: demarc.a.hickson@jsums.edu

Data represent mean (SD) or % (No.).

a

Missing values: asthma: n = 1,287; C-reactive protein: n = 1,273; diabetes: n = 1,275; cardiovascular disease: n = 1,285.

b

Geometric mean.

The upper portion is for women and the lower portion is for men. All P < .001. SAT = subcutaneous adipose tissue; VAT = visceral adipose tissue; WC = waist circumference.

a

P < .001.

b

P < .01.

c

P < .05.

MV = multivariable. See Table 2 legend for expansion of other abbreviations.

a

MV adjustment includes sex, education, cigarette smoking status, pack-years of smoking, respiratory medication use, and physical activity.

b

Models considering VAT as the independent variable were not further adjusted for VAT in Model 2.

CRP = C reactive protein; CVD = cardiovascular disease; T2D = type 2 diabetes. See Table 4 legend for expansion of other abbreviation.

a

Multivariable adjusted model (model 1) includes sex, education, cigarette smoking status, pack-years of smoking, respiratory medication use, and physical activity.

b

Multivariable adjusted model (model 1) includes sex, education, respiratory medication use, and physical activity.

Funding/Support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities [Contracts N01-HC-95170, N01-HC-95171, and N01-HC-95172].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


Funding/Support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities [Contracts N01-HC-95170, N01-HC-95171, and N01-HC-95172].

Funding/Support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health: National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities [Contracts N01-HC-95170, N01-HC-95171, and N01-HC-95172].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


Chest. 2011;140(6):1567-1573. doi:10.1378/chest.11-0258
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Background:  Impaired lung function has been linked to obesity and systemic inflammation. Pericardial fat has been shown to be associated with anomalies in cardiac structure, function, and atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that pericardial fat may have a similar role in the impairment of lung function.

Methods:  Cross-sectional associations of pericardial fat volumes, quantified by multidetector CT scan, with FEV1 and FVC assessed by spirometry, were investigated in 1,293 participants (54.5 ± 10.8 years; 66.4% women) in the Jackson Heart Study. We also examined whether these associations were independent of visceral adipose tissue (VAT).

Results:  Pericardial fat was associated with impaired lung function after multivariable adjustment, but these associations generally did not remain after adjustment for VAT. An exception was the FEV1/FVC ratio. Higher pericardial fat volumes were associated with higher odds of a restrictive lung pattern and lower odds of airway obstruction. Participants in the highest quartile had the highest odds of a restrictive lung pattern (OR, 1.85; 95% CI, 1.22-2.79, compared with quartile 1), even after adjustment for VAT. The odds of obstruction decreased across increasing quartiles of pericardial fat. These relationships were generally graded, suggesting dose-response trends.

Conclusions:  Pericardial fat is generally associated with lower lung function and independently associated with a restrictive lung pattern in middle-aged and elderly adults. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms through which pericardial fat contributes to pulmonary anomalies.

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