The ageing male heart: Myocardial triglyceride content as independent predictor of diastolic function

Rutger W. Van Der Meer, Luuk J. Rijzewijk, Michaela Diamant, Sebastiaan Hammer, Michael Schär, Jeroen J. Bax, Johannes W.A. Smit, Johannes A. Romijn, Albert De Roos, Hildo J. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Aims: In animal models of obesity and diabetes mellitus, myocardial TG accumulation is associated with decreased myocardial function. In the physiologically ageing heart, myocardial triglyceride (TG) accumulation may also occur due to reduced myocardial fatty acid oxidation. The role of myocardial TG in the ageing human heart is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to evaluate the effects of ageing on myocardial TG content, and to determine the association between myocardial TG content and heart function. Methods and results: 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging of the heart were performed in 43 healthy male subjects. Mean age (range) of the subjects was 44 (20-66) years. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and biochemical markers were determined. Age correlated significantly to myocardial TG content (r = 0.57, P< 0.05) independently of BMI. Furthermore, myocardial TG content correlated negatively with left ventricular diastolic function (represented by E/A ratio, r = -0.68, P < 0.05). Multivariable analysis indicated myocardial TG content as independent predictor (P < 0.05) of the age related decrease in diastolic heart function. Conclusion: Myocardial TG content increases in the physiologically ageing male heart and is associated with the age-related decline in diastolic function, independent of BMI, blood pressure, and biochemical blood markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1516-1522
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean heart journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Ageing
  • Heart
  • Heart function
  • Lipids
  • MRI
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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