Somatotypes of men undergoing coronary angiography

B. Davies, S. Williams, J. Baker, D. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


The relationship between somatotype (Carter & Heath, 1990) and coronary artery disease (CAD) was considered in 58 males (aged 60'2 ± 9'4 years), who reported consecutively for coronary angiography. An angiographic scoring system (Brandt et al. 1977) was used to determine the severity of the CAD. Six patients were found to have negative angiographic findings; three of these had impaired left ventricular function as determined by ventriculography. The mean somatotype of the group was 5'7 ± 1'7/5'6 ± 1'4/ 1'2 ± 1'0 (endomorphy/mesomorphy/ectomorphy), illustrating a clear dominance of the first two somatotype components. Of the total group, twenty-four were mesomorphic endomorphs, twenty were endomorphic mesomorphs, ten were mesomorph-endomorphs, two were balanced endo-morphs, one was a balanced mesomorph and one was an ectomorphic endomorph. Thirty-two somatotypes lay outside the somatochart - extremes for their particular category. Canonical correlation analysis showed the somatotype variate was not significantly related (P> 0'05) to myocardial or ventricular scores (angiography variate). However, loadings (correlations) between the variables and their respective variates indicated that the somatotype variate was one of high mesomorphy and low ectomorphy and the angiography variate one of increased myocardial score. A possible link between mesomorphy and CAD could be via elevated plasma homocysteine levels, which are a strong predictor of mortality in patients with angiographically confirmed CAD (Nygard et al. 1997). A large muscle mass and, therefore, greater creatine phosphate synthesis could increase the demand for transmethylation via S-adenosylmethionine and a corresponding increase in homocysteine. Somatotype alone does not independently predict CAD, but in conjunction with other risk factors it may improve the sensitivity of detecting individuals at risk of CAD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-78
Number of pages1
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue numberSupplement
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


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