Systolic Blood Pressure, Electrocardiography and Vertebral Heart Size in Obese Cats
Obesity is the most common nutritional disease in cats and is increasing in prevalence. Excess body fat predisposes to deleterious effects on heart function. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) alterations, arrhythmias and radiographic changes were described. However, little information about the obesity effects on the cardiovascular system in cats is available.
This study aims to evaluate obesity effects on cardiovascular system of domestic cats and compare with cats with a normal body condition.
The cats were evaluated in São Paulo State University (UNESP), Botucatu city, São Paulo state, Brazil. Thirty-six cats were allocated in two groups (18 obese cats and 18 cats with normal body condition) and submitted to SBP measurement; electrocardiogram (ECG); and chest radiography to evaluate cardiac silhouette by vertebral heart size (VHS).
BPS and VHS were statistically higher in obese than in normal cats. In obese cats, the BPS mean was 153.7±32.9 and in seven animals higher than 150 mm Hg. In normal cats BPS was 118.6±13 and hypertension was not observed. VHS analyses showed 8.2±0.6 and 7.4±0.5 values in obese and normal cats, respectively. ECG evaluation showed sinus rhythm in 100% of the obese cats. In normal cats, sinus rhythm in 17 cats (94.4%) and sinus tachycardia in one cat (5.6%) were obtained. Heart rate was 205.9±24.1 and 205.3±25.2 in obese and normal cats.
Obesity promoted cardiac function impairment in cats. Obese cats showed higher BPS and VHS than normal cats. Therefore, it is important to monitor these animals, since even asymptomatic may show changes in cardiac parameters.