Fat around the heart ups the risk of heart attack, finds Japanese study.
Even a thin person can have pericardial fat. Several studies suggest that pericardial fat induces inflammation of the artery wall by secretion of pro-inflammatory proteins and plays a role in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease.
"The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between pericardial fat and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) findings, mainly coronary remodeling, in patients with coronary artery disease," said Dr Riyo Ogura.
One hundred and eight consecutive patients with de novo lesions located in native coronary artery were studied. The pericardial fat thickness on the right ventricle was measured using transthoracic echocardiography, and arterial remodeling of culprit lesion was assessed by pre-interventional IVUS.
Multivariate analysis showed that high pericardial fat thickness was an independent factor affecting coronary positive remodeling.
In conclusion, pericardial fat thickness was significantly correlated with the coronary arterial remodeling and non-calcified plaque - related with acute coronary syndrome.
The study was recently presented at the ESC Congress 2011.