Background: The independent role of pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) as an ectopic fat associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains controversial. This study aimed to determine whether PAT is associated with left ventricular (LV) structure and function independent of other markers of general obesity. Methods: We studied 2471 participants (50.9 % women) without known CVD from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study, who underwent 2D-echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and computed tomography measurement for PAT. Results: Study participants with more PAT were more likely to be men and had higher cardiometabolic indices, including blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels (all P < 0.001). Greater pericardial fat levels across quartiles of PAT were associated with increased LV mass index and left atrial volume index (all P < 0.001) and decreased systolic (P = 0.015) and early diastolic (P < 0.001) TDI velocities, except for LV ejection fraction. These associations remained after a multivariable-adjusted model for traditional CV risk factors and persisted even after additional adjustment for general adiposity measures, such as waist circumference and body mass index. PAT was also the only obesity index independently associated with systolic TDI velocity (P < 0.001). Conclusions: PAT was associated with subclinical LV structural and functional deterioration, and these associations were independent of and stronger than with general and abdominal obesity measures.
- Adipose tissue
- Left ventricular function
- Left ventricular hypertrophy
- Tissue doppler echocardiography