Examining Obesity, Hypertension, and Diabetes in Heart Failure

HealthDay News – Middle-aged adults who’ve avoided obesity, hypertension, and diabetes are far less likely than others to develop heart failure in their later years, according to research published in JACC: Heart Failure.

John Wilkins, MD, assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from 4 heart studies launched across the United States between 1948 and 1987. Through 2007 to 2008, the researchers tracked outcomes for 19,249 men and women whose heart health was assessed at aged 45 years. The investigators followed another 23,915 whose heart status was determined at aged 55 years.

Heart failure developed in 1677 participants tested at aged 45 years, and in 2976 of those examined at aged 55 years. Men who were free of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity at aged 45 years went on to live free of heart failure almost 11 years longer than men who had all 3 conditions. For women, the advantage was about 15 years. On average, men and women without any of those 3 heart risks lived 34.7 and 38.0 years longer, respectively, without developing heart failure. Similar trends were seen among those assessed at aged 55 years.

“Prevention of hypertension, obesity, and diabetes by ages 45 years and 55 years may substantially prolong heart failure-free survival, decrease heart failure-related morbidity, and reduce the public health impact of heart failure,” the authors wrote.

Look for an upcoming feature article about obesity and heart failure on Cardiology Advisor.


  1. Ahmad FS, Ning H, Rich JD, et al. Hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart failure-free survival. The Cardiovascular Disease Lifetime Risk Pooling Project. JACC Heart Fail. 2016;4(12):911-919. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2016.08.001.
  2. Wang TJ. Living without heart failure. Contemporary concepts in prevention. JACC Heart Fail. 2016;4(12):920-922. doi:10.1016/j.jchf.2016.10.003.