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Excess Fat Around the Heart May Increase Risk of Heart Failure

Pericardial fat pad is a small lump of fatty tissue on the outside of the heart. According to a new study, excess pericardial fat may increase the risk of developing heart failure, especially in women.

Participants in the study included 6,785 adults without pre-existing cardiovascular disease. CT scans were used to measure pericardial fat. Participants were followed for an average of 15.7 years, and all incidences of heart failure were recorded.

The researchers found that excess pericardial fat was associated with double the risk (100%) of heart failure in women, and with a 53% increased risk in men. Excess pericardial fat was defined as 2.4 fluid ounces or more in women and 4 fluid ounces or more in men.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Wake Forest School of Medicine. It was published on May 24, 2021 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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