Epicardial fat tissue: Relationship with cardiorespiratory fitness in men

Maeng Kyu Kim*, Kiyoji Tanaka, Mi Ji Kim, Tomoaki Matsuo, Tsugio Tomita, Hiroyuki Ohkubo, Seiji Maeda, Ryuichi Ajisaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To explore the influence of the epicardial fat (EF) tissue on aspects of heart rate recovery (HRR) and cardiorespiratory fitness (V̇O2peak) in middle-aged men. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of EF thickness was performed on 101 overweight or obese men. The men were categorized into low-EF, moderate-EF, and high-EF groups on the basis of ventricular EF thickness, as measured by transthoracic echocardiography. V̇O2peak was assessed with a graded maximal cycle ergometric test, including measurement of HRR 2 min after test cessation to estimate parasympathetic activity, with assessment of several metabolic parameters. Results: Men in the highest and the middle EF thickness tertile had significantly slower recovery times than subjects in the lowest tertile, respectively (P < 0.05). Subjects with higher EF thickness were more likely to have impaired recovery and to reveal lower cardiorespiratory fitness than low-EF group subjects. There was a significant partial correlation, adjusted by age and body weight, between EF thickness and V̇O2peak (r =-0.25, P = 0.014). In the hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses, EF thickness was the strongest predicting variable associated with V̇O2peak in these population (β =-1.182, P = 0.001). Conclusions: Higher EF thickness in men is associated with lower HRR at 1 and 2 min, a representation of autonomic dysfunction and poor cardiorespiratory fitness. These data suggest that moderately obese men with thicker EF tissue demonstrate reduced cardiorespiratory fitness and a differing parasympathetic response to exercise testing, as compared with men with lower EF levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-469
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic threshold
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart rate recovery
  • Peak oxygen uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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