The aim of this study was to determine the arteriovenous oxygen content difference (ΔAVO2) in adult subjects with and without heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) during systemic and forearm exercise. Subjects with HFpEF had reduced ΔAVO2. Forearm diffusional conductance for oxygen, a lumped conductance parameter that incorporates all impediments to the movement of oxygen from red blood cells in skeletal muscle capillaries into the mitochondria within myocytes, was estimated. Forearm diffusional conductance for oxygen was not different among adults with HFpEF, those with hypertension, and healthy control subjects; therefore, diffusional conductance cannot explain the reduced forearm ΔAVO2. Instead, adiposity was strongly associated with ΔAVO2, suggesting an active role for adipose tissue in reducing exercise capacity in patients with HFpEF.