25 Sep Myocardial Fat Content : Effects of Age and Aerobic Fitness
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Satyam Sarma MD
Assistant Instructor, Cardiology
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Inst. for Exercise and Environmental Medicine
7232 Greenville Ave. Dallas TX 75231
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Sarma: The main findings of our study were that as we age or live a sedentary lifestyle, fat tends to accumulate in the muscle of the heart. The accumulation of myocardial lipids were linked to abnormalities in diastolic function. With increasing levels of fat, the left ventricle became less distensible and had impaired tissue relaxation.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Sarma: We were surprised at the level of fat build up in some of our study subjects approached values previously only reported in diabetic individuals. Individuals who were older, otherwise healthy, but led an extremely sedentary lifestyle with low aerobic fitness had myocardial lipid levels that were in some cases higher than what would be found in diabetic patients.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from this study?
Dr. Sarma: Our study shows a link between fitness and the accumulation of fat in “ectopic” or non-adipocyte tissues. The accumulation of lipids in the cardiac muscle is associated with diastolic abnormalities and provides further insight into cardiac metabolic adaptations that occur with being unfit.
MedicalResearch.com: What further research do you recommend as a result of your study?
Dr. Sarma: We still do not know if reversing the accumulation of myocardial lipids can improve diastolic function. Further research into either exercise based or pharmacologic interventions to decrease lipid build up followed by a careful examination of cardiac function is needed. Targeting metabolic abnormalities within the heart may be a novel way to reverse or prevent diastolic dysfunction that occurs as a result of sedentary aging.
The Effects of Age and Aerobic Fitness on Myocardial Lipid Content
Satyam Sarma, Graeme Carrick-Ranson, Naoki Fujimoto, Beverley Adams-Huet, Paul S. Bhella, Jeffrey L. Hastings, Keri M. Shafer, Shigeki Shibata, Kara Boyd, Dean Palmer, Edward W. Szczepaniak, Lidia S. Szczepaniak, and Benjamin D. Levine
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013;CIRCIMAGING.113.000565published online before print September 13 2013, doi:10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.113.000565
Last Updated on April 10, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD