OBESITY CAUSES HEART DISEASE

Many have wondered for years, how obesity could cause heart disease? Little did they know that the relationship is almost indirect and not direct.  As I write, Obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among black and white Americans between ages of 40 and 85. Obesity is intimately intertwined with multiple health conditions that underlie cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, diabetes, and abnormal blood cholesterol. In addition, weight gain is a frequent consequence of heart-damaging lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise and a fat-laden diet.

Although, scientists have long suspected that excess fat tissue, especially around the waist, has a direct effect on heart structure and function. To validate this theory, researchers evaluated 950 older individuals of varying weights for signs of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. This condition is characterized by changes to the structure of the heart’s main pumping chamber -left ventricle, which prevent it from filling sufficiently between beats.

The research shows that being overweight or obese can:

Raise Blood Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels: A condition in which your blood has too much cholesterol—a waxy, fat-like substance. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart attack.

Increase Blood Pressure: This condition arises when the blood pressure is abnormally high. Hypertension occurs when the body’s smaller blood vessels (the arterioles) narrow, causing the blood to exert excessive pressure against the vessel walls and forcing the heart to work harder to maintain the pressure.

Cause Being Physically Inactive: Obesity often leads to lack of physical activity, and this in effect can worsen other Coronary Heart Disease risk factors, such as high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, diabetes and prediabetes. To avoid this obese individuals should make exercises part of their daily routine.

Induce Type 2 Diabetes: In some people, diabetes makes other risk factors much worse. The danger of heart attack is especially high for these people.

Atherosclerosis: This is the process that gradually hardens the walls of the arteries making them lose their elasticity and finally blocks them up or narrows them down to impair blood flow. The blockage is caused by fatty and fibre-like deposits. Atherosclerosis is the main underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. When it affects the heart, it may lead to coronary artery disease and heart attacks. When this affects the brain it causes strokes and when it affects the peripheral blood vessels, it leads to peripheral artery disease.

Heart Failure: Obesity leads to heart failure in several ways. More body fat leads to higher blood volume, which in turn makes your heart work harder to pump all the extra liquid. Over the years, this causes harmful changes in the heart’s structure and function that can eventually lead to heart failure. Fat tissue, particularly in the abdomen, also produces a number of toxic, inflammatory substances that can damage heart muscle. Even obese people without any obvious signs of heart disease may have chronic damage to their heart muscle.

However, Obesity isn’t a bane. If you are obese, all hope is not lost. The good news is that you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by reaching and keeping to a healthy weight.