Even a tiny bit of flab raises heart failure risk

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even a little bit of extra weight can raise the risk of heart failure, according to a U.S. study published on Monday that calculated the heart hazards of being pudgy but not obese.

It comes as little surprise that obesity makes a person much more apt to get heart failure, a deadly condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout the body.

But researchers who tracked the health of 21,094 U.S. male doctors for two decades found that even those who were only modestly overweight had a higher risk — and it grew along with the amount of extra weight.

In men who are 5 feet 10 inches tall, for every seven pounds (3.2 kg) of excess body weight, their risk of heart failure rose on average by 11 percent over the next 20 years, the researchers wrote in the journal Circulation.

The average age of the men at the outset of the so-called Physicians’ Health Study was 53. During the study, 1,109 of them developed heart failure.

Overall, the risk of heart failure increased by 180 percent in men who met the definition of obesity according to their body mass index (BMI of 30 and higher), and by 49 percent in men who met the definition of overweight (a BMI of 25 to 30).

Heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure, contributes to 300,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Conditions such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure can leave the heart too weak or stiff to fill and pump blood efficiently.

Dr. Satish Kenchaiah of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and colleagues also looked at how physical activity affected heart failure risk.

“The lean and active group had the lowest risk and the obese and inactive group had the highest risk,” Kenchaiah said in a telephone interview.

“As far as vigorous physical activity is concerned, even if somebody said they exercised one to three times per month — which is a very low level of exercise — they had an 18 percent reduction in the risk of heart failure after accounting for all other established risk factors,” Kenchaiah added.

The benefit of exercise in cutting heart failure risk was seen in lean, overweight and obese men, the researchers found. But regardless of the level of activity, higher body mass index also meant higher heart failure risk.

(Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Xavier Briand)

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Many Americans are failing to meet the minimum recommendations for exercise, although confusing guidelines are making it difficult to assess, researchers reported on Thursday. Depending on which federal exercise recommendations are used, either about half or about two-thirds of Americans meet minimum goals, the team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Full Post: Many Americans miss exercise goals
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans with high blood pressure is on the rise thanks in large part to growing rates of obesity, researchers said on Tuesday. But increasing numbers of those with high blood pressure, also called hypertension, are getting the condition treated, researchers from the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health

Full Post: More Americans getting high blood pressure: study
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of obese American adults outweighs the number of those who are merely overweight, according to the latest statistics from the federal government. Numbers posted by the National Center for Health Statistics show that more than 34 percent of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7 percent who are overweight. It said just

Full Post: Obese Americans now outweigh the merely overweight
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being overweight or obese may increase the likelihood of having severe headaches and migraines, new study findings suggest. An increased prevalence of headache may be associated with being underweight as well. In analyses of 7,601 adult men and women, Dr. Earl S. Ford and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease

Full Post: Obesity may raise headache risk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Anne Harding NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being physically active during pregnancy may help prevent a serious complication called preeclampsia, but the effect is small, and only seems to apply to women who are not obese, new research from Norway shows. “The main risk factor for preeclampsia is actually a high body mass index, so reducing

Full Post: Activity may ward off preeclampsia for lean women

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search