Role of heart rate in the relation between regional body fat and subendocardial viability ratio in women

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Subendocardial viability ratio (SEVR) is a measure of left ventricular function, specifically; it is an index of myocardial perfusion relative to left ventricular workload. Women have lower SEVR than men, partly due to a faster resting heart rate that reduces diastolic time (i.e., time for myocardial perfusion). It is unclear if body fat relates to SEVR, thus the purpose of this study was to examine the relation between body fat and SEVR in women. Twenty-eight middle-aged (31–45 years) and 31 older (60–80 years) women were examined. Radial artery applanation tonometry was used to calculate SEVR from a synthesized central aortic pressure wave. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess body composition including fat in the trunk, legs, android and gynoid regions. Body fat was not related (P>.05) with SEVR in older women. In middle-aged women, all measures of regional fat were correlated with heart rate (range, r=.49–.59, P≤.01) and SEVR (range, r=.43–.53, P≤.01). Android-to-gynoid ratio was identified as the strongest predictor (r2=−.26, P<.01) of SEVR among measures of regional fat. Middle-aged women with lower android-to-gynoid fat ratio had higher SEVR (1.96±0.33 vs 1.66±0.20, P=.009) than women with higher fat ratio, even after adjusting for age, height, daily physical activity, and aortic mean pressure (P=.02). Adjusting for heart rate or diastolic time abolished the difference in SEVR between groups (1.80±0.09 vs 1.82±0.09, P=.56). These results suggest that middle-aged women with a greater distribution of fat in the abdomen have poorer left ventricular function that is dependent on the negative influence of heart rate on diastolic time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-794
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Ageing
  • DEXA
  • SEVR
  • body fat
  • central adiposity
  • diastolic function


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