Diabetes, Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases News Chronicle.  Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Heart Diseases
 Article 332
    Published on July 1, 2018

 

"Fat But Fit" People Are At A Higher Risk Of Heart Disease

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An earlier study has suggested that the "Obesity Paradox", a medical hypothesis, which says that the obesity might offer a heart-protective effect and a greater survival chance to some elderly people or to the people with a certain chronic disease. Another study has suggested that the middle-aged people with a higher body mass index (BMI) may live longer compared to the people with a normal body mass index (BMI).



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A study shows that the obesity paradox is due to the confusion in the fat calculation of the body.

Authors of the current study say that the earlier studies are conflicting on the association between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), especially among the middle-aged people with a low body mass index (BMI). The earlier studies did not account for the other body composition measures such as the fat storage patterns in the body, fat-free mass (or lean body mass) and body fat percentage. This study shows that the "Obesity Paradox" is due to the confusion in the fat calculation of the body.

A large study by the UK researchers shows an increase in the risk of heart disease and stroke and the negative health benefits such as blood pressure with an increase in body weight. In this study, researchers have used five different measures to assess the body composition of healthy people and the associated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The measures used by the researchers to assess the body composition are.


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  • Body mass index (BMI).
  • Waist circumference.
  • Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR).
  • Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR).
  • Percentage body fat (BFP).

Researchers have conducted a five-year follow-up study on more than 296,535 European middle-aged people, both men, and women but without a heart and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). About 57.8 percent of them are women. Many of them are obese. They used the UK biobank for the study purpose.

The study shows that the increased risk of heart disease with the body adiposity is irrespective of other conventional heart disease risk factors such as the physical inactivity, high blood pressure or the socioeconomic status. There is an enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with the increase in body fat percentage and waist-to-hip ratio. The incidents of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular events were observed in 3.3 percent of the women and 5.7 percent of the men.


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When compared with the people with a body mass index (BMI) of 22 kg/meter2, there was 13 percent increase in heart attack or stroke risks with a 5.2 point increase in BMI for women and a 4.3 point increase in BMI for men.

In women, there is a 16 percent of the enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with a 5-inch increase in the waist circumference beyond 29 inches compared to women with a normal body mass index (BMI) of 22 kg/meter2. In men, the study has found ten percent of the enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease with a 4.5-inch increase in the waist circumference beyond 33 inches compared to men with a normal body mass index (BMI) of 22 kg/meter2.


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The study provides evidence for an association between the increase in the body weight and the increase in the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases. This study also says there is a need to assess the other health parameters such as fat percentage, waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference for the calculation of the obesity of a person as the body mass index (BMI) is an imperfect indicator for the body weight and does not differentiate between the lean muscle mass and the body fat.

Authors say that the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease with obesity may not be lowered by just keeping a healthy body mass index (BMI). It is important to do a regular exercise (or workout) along with the healthy body mass index (BMI) to lower the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases.


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Authors say even though an overweight (or obese) person may be healthy, the person is at a greater risk of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular diseases compared with the person with a normal BMI with exactly the same risk factors.

The lead author of the study was Dr. Stamatina Iliodromiti, a lecturer in obstetrics and gynecology and a MRC Fellow, School of Medicine, the University of Glasgow. Co-author of the study was Dr. Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine, the University of Glasgow. The study was published March 16, 2018, in the European Heart Journal. Title of the article was "The impact of confounding on the associations of different adiposity measures with the incidence of cardiovascular disease: a cohort study of 296,535 adults of white European descent." DOI: doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy057


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