Adult patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) who were also obese had worse disease-specific health-related quality of life compared to patients of normal weight, according to study results published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Results from the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-12 and emPHasis-10 questionnaires were used to evaluate health-related quality of life in a large multicenter prospective cohort of adult patients with PAH. The study participants were divided based on body weight and results were compared between groups.

Of the 767 participants with PAH, the mean age was 57 years, and approximately 75% were women. Additionally, 33% of the 767 participants were considered overweight and 40% were considered obese based on body mass index (BMI). When health-related quality of life was compared between groups, both patients who were overweight and obese had higher baseline emPHasis-10 scores, corresponding to worse health-related quality of life. These effects persisted over time (P <.001).

Continue Reading

“Overweight and obese patients had a trend towards increased incidence rates for hospitalizations when compared to normal weight individuals,” the study authors wrote. “Despite this, overweight and obese individuals had better overall transplant-free survival as compared to the normal weight patients, consistent with an ‘obesity paradox’ in PAH.”

The researchers added that further “deep phenotyping” of patients’ cardiometabolic risk profiles and fat distribution is needed to understand the underlying mechanism of these findings.


Min J, Feng R, Badesch D, et al; on behalf of the PHAR Investigators. Obesity in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH): the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry (PHAR). Ann Am Thorac Soc. Published online October 21, 2020. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.202006-612OC

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor