Cardiac Alterations on 3T MRI in Young Adults With Sedentary Lifestyle-Related Risk Factors

Gert J. H. Snel*, Maaike van den Boomen, Katia Hurtado-Ortiz, Riemer H. J. A. Slart, Vincent M. van Deursen, Christopher T. Nguyen, David E. Sosnovik, Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx, Birgitta K. Velthuis, Ronald J. H. Borra, Niek H. J. Prakken

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Young adult populations with the sedentary lifestyle-related risk factors overweight, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are growing, and associated cardiac alterations could overlap early findings in non-ischemic cardiomyopathy on cardiovascular MRI. We aimed to investigate cardiac morphology, function, and tissue characteristics for these cardiovascular risk factors.

Methods: Non-athletic non-smoking asymptomatic adults aged 18-45 years were prospectively recruited and underwent 3Tesla cardiac MRI. Multivariate linear regression was performed to investigate independent associations of risk factor-related parameters with cardiac MRI values.

Results: We included 311 adults (age, 32 ± 7 years; men, 49%). Of them, 220 subjects had one or multiple risk factors, while 91 subjects were free of risk factors. For overweight, increased body mass index (per SD = 5.3 kg/m2) was associated with increased left ventricular (LV) mass (+7.3 g), biventricular higher end-diastolic (LV, +8.6 ml), and stroke volumes (SV; +5.0 ml), higher native T1 (+7.3 ms), and lower extracellular volume (ECV, -0.38%), whereas the higher waist-hip ratio was associated with lower biventricular volumes. Regarding hypertension, increased systolic blood pressure (per SD = 14 mmHg) was associated with increased LV mass (+6.9 g), higher LV ejection fraction (EF; +1.0%), and lower ECV (-0.48%), whereas increased diastolic blood pressure was associated with lower LV EF. In T2D, increased HbA1c (per SD = 9.0 mmol/mol) was associated with increased LV mass (+2.2 g), higher right ventricular end-diastolic volume (+3.2 ml), and higher ECV (+0.27%). Increased heart rate was linked with decreased LV mass, lower biventricular volumes, and lower T2 values.

Conclusions: Young asymptomatic adults with overweight, hypertension, and T2D show subclinical alterations in cardiac morphology, function, and tissue characteristics. These alterations should be considered in cardiac MRI-based clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number840790
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in cardiovascular medicine
Publication statusPublished - 22-Feb-2022


  • young adults
  • cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging
  • overweight
  • hypertension
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiac function
  • myocardial tissue characterization
  • T1

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