OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between cardiovascular status and body fat tissue distribution in men without any premortem clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. SUBJECTS: 30 forensic autopsy cases which consisted of sudden deaths resulting from accidental causes, suicides or homicides or from unexpected natural causes. METHODS: Body height and weight, the circumferences of the waist and hip and the thicknesses of the subscapular and abdominal subcutaneous fat were measured, and Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-to-Hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Perirenal, omental and mesenterial fat deposits were weighed and supraclavicular-pericarotid and perirenal-periadrenal fat was excised and serial samples analyzed for brown adipose tissue (BAT) by computerized image analysis. The heart weight was indexed for height. The degree of coronary narrowing was determined in each artery, and myocardial collagen volume fraction and myocyte cross-sectional area were measured. RESULTS: There were significantly positive correlations between age and the degree of coronary arteriosclerosis and heart weight/height. After adjusting for age, BMI and waist circumference had a significant positive correlation with all the cardiac parameters. The degree of coronary narrowing and heart weight/height were related to tertiles of BMI and waist circumstance. The age-adjusted correlations between the subscapular fat thickness and cardiac parameters were significant and positive, and perirenal fat weight also had a significantly positive association with all the cardiac parameters. BAT decreased with age and when adjusted for age, the cervical BAT percentage had a significant negative correlation with waist circumference and WHR, and a significant negative correlation was also found between cervical BAT and the degree of coronary arteriosclerosis and between perirenal BAT and heart weight/height. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that body fatness is associated with coronary and myocardial pathology in men without any clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. An abdominal accumulation of fat seems to be connected with both the severity of coronary lesions and myocardial hypertrophy in men, in whom there is also a connection between abdominal obesity and a relative scarcity of BAT. Future investigations will require more detailed analyses of the extent and ultrastructural of coronary artery lesions in order to obtain more specific information on the relationship of body fat distribution to the early asymptomatic phase of coronary disease in younger individuals.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between cardiovascular pathology and body fat distribution in healthy women with no ante mortem clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. SUBJECTS: Thirty-three female forensic autopsy cases of sudden death from violent causes. METHODS: Body height and weight, the circumferences of the waist and hip and the thicknesses of the subscapular and abdominal subcutaneous fat were measured, and Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist-to-Hip ratio (WHR) were calculated. Omental, mesenterial and perirenal fat deposits were weighted. Heart weight was indexed to height (2.7), the degree of coronary narrowing was determined in each artery, and myocardial collagen volume fraction and myocyte cross-sectional area were measured. RESULTS: The degree of coronary narrowing, heart weight in absolute terms and indexed to height (2.7), myocyte cross-sectional area and all the measures of obesity were significantly positively correlated with age. Regression of coronary narrowing on measures of obesity indicated that a quadratic model fitted the data for BMI, waist circumference and intra-abdominal fat better than a linear one. After adjusting for age, the degree of coronary narrowing was related to tertiles of BMI, waist circumference, WHR and intra-abdominal fat, the severity of the narrowing being most marked in the second tertile of BMI (24.0-31.0), waist circumference (80-96 cm) and intra-abdominal fat (500-1700 g), but in the third tertile of WHR (over 0.92). Regression on heart weight/height (2.7) on the aforementioned measures of obesity indicated a clearly linear association and heart weight indexed to height (2.7) was related to tertiles of BMI, waist circumference and WHR, and also to tertiles of intra-abdominal fat. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that body fatness and abdominal accumulation of fat are associated with the severity of coronary atherosclerosis and myocardial hypertrophy in women with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, but the relationship between coronary lesions and BMI is not linear. Both coronary lesions and myocardial hypertrophy are more advanced as the numerical value for WHR increases in women. Future autopsy studies should be directed at young women with increased WHR in order to determine their risk of developing life-threatening lesions in the atherosclerosis-prone regions of the coronary tree.
OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of long-term treatment with the type 1 angiotensin (AT1) receptor antagonist losartan and the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor enalapril, on cardiac adrenomedullin (ADM), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) gene expression. METHODS: Spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were given losartan (15 mg/kg per day) or enalapril (4 mg/kg per day) orally for 10 weeks. The effects of drugs on systolic blood pressure, cardiac hypertrophy, ANP, BNP and ADM mRNA and immunoreactive-ANP (IR)-ANP, IR-BNP and IR-ADM levels in the left ventricle and atria were compared. RESULTS: Losartan and enalapril treatments completely inhibited the increase of systolic blood pressure occurring with ageing in SHR. The ratio of heart to body weight was reduced in both losartan- and enalapril-treated SHR and WKY rats. Treatment with losartan or enalapril reduced left ventricular ANP mRNA and IR-ANP in both strains, and ventricular BNP mRNA levels in SHR rats. Inhibition of ACE, AT1 receptor antagonism, changes in blood pressure or cardiac mass had no effect on left ventricular ADM gene expression in SHR and WKY rats. In addition, atrial IR-ANP and IR-ADM levels increased in SHR whereas IR-BNP levels decreased in WKY and SHR rats in response to drug treatments. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that ventricular ADM synthesis is an insensitive marker of changes in haemodynamic load or cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, the expression of ADM, ANP and BNP genes is differently regulated both in the left ventricle and atria in response to AT1 receptor antagonism and ACE inhibition.
Coronary artery aneurysm in childhood is a rare disease and has in most cases been ascribed to infantile periarteritis nodosa (IPN). In recent years a mucocutaneous lymph node syndrom (MLNS) has been found almost exclusively in Japan first described by Kawasaki 1967; this disease frequently involves the coronary arteries and myocardium. Four cases with coronary aneurysms are presented from Sweden and seem to be first described from Scandinavia. Three of these patients died a sudden death with cardiac arrest. Since MLNS and IPN have identical clinical and pathological features, we suggest that MLNS and IPN constitute a pathologic entity and that to separate them on a clinical or histological basis is nonsensical. The risk of coronary aneurysm and possible sudden death must be considered in patients with uncharacteristic symptoms including prolonged fever, conjunctivitis, exanthema, lesions in the oral mucosa, elevated sedimintation rate, and leukocytosis.