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Obesity Prevention Also Prevents Heart Problems
- Obesity may cause heart problems directly
- Learn how obesity causes heart problems
- Childhood obesity prevention is key to reducing the risk of heart attack
Research has shown that weight control, and prevention of obesity is very important, not just in the effect it has on the risk of high blood pressure or heart attack, but also in how well the heart functions.
Doctors have held the suspicion for some time that people who are overweight patients to have a higher risk of developing heart problems. Heart disease has also been linked to conditions that can be associated with obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. However, there has been scientific research carried out that suggests that obesity in itself can lead to heart problems, not just conditions associated with obesity. Studies have also shown that even those who are not obese, but have an excess of body weight may also have an increased risk of heart problems.
The Framingham Heart Study monitored nearly 6000 individuals who were either overweight or obese for an average of 14 years. Adjustments were made statistically for risk factors that might lead to heart failure other than obesity itself (such as coronary artery disease, diabetes or hypertension). With those factors taken into account, the study found that those who were overweight (as opposed to being obese) had a heightened risk of developing heart problems that was 34% higher than those who were not overweight. The study also found that the obese individuals had a risk of developing heart problems that was 104% higher than those who were not overweight.
The conclusion that can be drawn from this is that being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk of developing heart problems even if you are very healthy in other respects. The study is good grounds for doctors and health care professionals to encourage weight loss independent of other medical conditions.
How can obesity cause heart problems?
Being overweight or obsess can cause health problems that were not considered specifically in the Framingham Study. For example, obesity can cause LVH (left ventricular hypertrophy) which is also known as thickening of the wall of the left ventricle of the heart. This is caused by the heart having to work harder to circulate blood around greater body mass. If LVH is present for long enough, it can lead to heart failure eventually.
Obesity health problems have also been linked with metabolic syndrome X, which is a metabolic disorder. The effect of metabolic syndrome X is that it can cause severe lipid abnormalities. The two conditions of metabolic syndrome X and LVH may be responsible for the increased risk of heart problems in those people who are overweight or obese.
If this is the case, treatments designed to deal with metabolic syndrome X and LVH may also assist in preventing heart problems. However, there is little doubt that the safest course is to prevent obesity or being overweight. Those individuals who are overweight should consider a program of diet and exercise in consultation with their doctor, and childhood obesity prevention is becoming an increasingly important issue.
If obesity is accompanied by other health problems such as lipid abnormalities, hypertension or metabolic syndrome X, it would be advisable to talk over obesity treatments with your doctor.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Obesity and Diabetes4 Feb 2009|