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If You Are Obese, Be Careful- You Might Be at a Higher Risk of Heart Diseases from a Younger Age

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Young people who happen to be obese or carry more body weight than what would be considered healthy have higher chances of experiencing a cardiovascular instance than any of their non-obese friends and age-mates.


The 2017 Scientific Sessions on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and Epidemiology and Prevention held at the American Heart Association witnessed the presentation of findings from a study that related unhealthy weight to heart conditions and young population.

The Obesity Paradox

The conclusion of individual prior studies suggested the existence of an obesity paradox. It is where the belief leans towards obese people (those who have a BMI over 25) living longer than those whose BMI falls in the normal range.

The new study tries to throw more light on this ‘obesity paradox’. It analyses pooled data from the Lifetime Risk Pooling Project at an individual level. The Pooling Project involves 20 large groups of cardiovascular disease affected entities.

The results indicate that overweight people might either have a similar or a slightly shorter lifespan as compared to others with normal weight and BMI levels irrespective of any presence of cardiovascular diseases. However, obese people are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular conditions in their lifetime than the non-obese ones.

The Study Findings

On an average, the period for which a person lived without any occurrence of cardiovascular diseases was longer in people with a healthy BMI than in those who were overweight. Also, the obese ones experienced heart-related conditions at an earlier age as compared to others.

The study included a close observation and examination of cardiovascular disease data that came from a group of 72,490 people. The focus was on the middle-aged ones with an average age of 55. At the time when the participants entered the study, they were all healthy with no instance or indication of any cardiovascular condition. The average BMI of the participants was 27.4 and 27.1 for men and women respectively.

13,457 events of cardiovascular diseases were recorded during the follow-up procedure. Out of this, 6,309 deaths as a result of heart-related condition were recorded too. Other 11,782 deaths were found to be dissociated with cardiovascular conditions.

BMI, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Events

The Body Mass Index measures body fat indirectly. It doesn’t consider central obesity i.e. too much fat around the stomach that could have serious adverse effects on health.

Now, currently, the cardiovascular diseases and events involve stroke, heart failure, and coronary heart conditions among others. The conclusion that obesity causes such conditions to rise in early age is very much related to the BMI of a person, as the study suggests.

The researchers believe that future studies should focus on other factors that contribute to obesity, waist circumference for example.

They also talk about the need to be alert regarding the additional risk of early onset of cardiovascular diseases in overweight folks. They suggest healthcare providers to always stress the importance, nay, necessity of healthy weight throughout the life of every human.

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