The finding held when adjusted for age, sex, blood urea nitrogen, blood pressure, and additional prognostic factors. The finding offers more insight into an observed phenomenon in chronic heart failure called the 'obesity paradox.'

This is the first study to document that this inverse relationship with body mass index (BMI) holds in the setting of acute hospitalization for heart failure. Further study is required but the finding suggests that nutritional/metabolic support may have therapeutic benefit in specific patients hospitalized with heart failure.

The study found that by weight category, in-hospital mortality rate was 6.3 percent for underweight, 4.6 percent for healthy weight, 3.4 percent for overweight and 2.4 percent for obese patients. "The study suggests that overweight and obese patients may have a greater metabolic reserve to call upon during an acute heart failure episode, which may lessen in-hospital mortality risk," said the first author Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow.

Obesity is a known risk factor for developing heart disease and heart failure and every effort should be made to avoid it, but once heart failure has manifested, this paradox seems to occur.; Source: University of California - Los Angeles