Association between obesity and heart failure symptoms in male and female patients

S. Heo, D. K. Moser, S. J. Pressler, S. B. Dunbar, K. S. Lee, J. Kim, T. A. Lennie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In patients with heart failure (HF), higher body mass index (BMI) has been associated with lower rates of hospitalization and mortality (obesity paradox). Symptoms are antecedents of hospitalizations, but little is known about the relationship between BMI and symptoms and gender differences. To examine the association of BMI with symptoms in male and female patients with HF, controlling for covariates (sample characteristics, depressive symptoms and sodium intake). In this cross-sectional correlational study, patients (N = 247) provided data on BMI, symptoms and covariates. BMI was categorized into four groups: normal/underweight (<25 kg/m2 ), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2 ), obese I (30-34.9 kg/m2 ) and obese II/III (≥35 kg/m2 ). General linear regression was used to analyse the data. The Obese II/III group had more severe HF symptoms than other groups only in male patients. In male patients, older age, Caucasian race, more comorbidities and more severe depressive symptoms were also associated with more severe symptoms. In female patients, more severe depressive symptoms, more comorbidities and higher sodium intake were associated with more severe symptoms. The obesity paradox does not fully extend to symptoms, and gender has a role in the relationship between obesity and symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-85
Number of pages9
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



  • Depression
  • heart failure
  • obesity
  • sodium
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Heo, S., Moser, D. K., Pressler, S. J., Dunbar, S. B., Lee, K. S., Kim, J., & Lennie, T. A. (2017). Association between obesity and heart failure symptoms in male and female patients. Clinical obesity, 7(2), 77-85.