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Can Obesity Cause Heart Attack: Relation Between Obesity and Heart Attack

Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease via its association with insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia. However, the effect of the obesity on most vascular outcome measures is not entirely removed after adjustment of these known risk factors, suggesting that obesity has an independent effect which is additive to that of these known vascular risk factors and heart attack. Obesity increases the risk of vascular disease and heart attack, both coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Obesity and heart attack is often associated with other metabolic risk factors for vascular disease including Type2 Diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Although increasing BMI correlates positively with the risk of heart attack.

Obesity and Heart Attack
Obesity and Heart Attack

Obesity and Heart Attack:

There is epidemiological evidence between obesity and heart attack with an incremental increase in all cause mortality with increasing BMI. In prospective studies in the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium of 1.46 million while adults overweight and obesity are associated with increased all-cause mortality compared to lowest mortality with a BMI of 20-25 kg/m2. The effects of obesity and particularly the fat distribution on coronary heart disease have also been shown to occur in both men and women.

The adverse effects of abdominal fat distribution may even be seen in relatively lean individuals (BMI <25 kg/m2). For example, after adjusting for BMI and other coronary risk factors, women with a waist-hip-ratio (WHR) of 0.88 or higher had relatively risk of coronary heart disease 3.25, as compared with those with WHR below 0.72 and similar findings have found in men.

Not only  the risk of experiencing vascular event increased by obesity, particularly central obesity, but the consequences of vascular atherosclerosis plaque rapture may be magnified by the prothrombotic and inflammatory metabolic profile that accompanies visceral obesity. Treatment options, if avoided in extreme degrees of obesity may result in unfavorable conditions like heart attack.

Obesity and Heart Attack Risk Factors:

Lack of physical fitness is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is statistically associated with obesity. There has been a considerable public and professional interest in the ‘fit-fat’ concept, that is improvement of cardiovascular risk by focusing on healthy life style as primary goal rather than as a mean toward achieving weight loss.

Current evidence suggests that physical fitness may reduce the excess cardiovascular mortality risk of obesity by up to a half, but it does not appear to be able to abolish it altogether. Clearly, pursuing increased physical fitness is an important component of any obesity management and thus lower the cause of heart attack due to obesity.

Obesity and Heart Attack Relation:

Obesity is associated with increased risk of heart attack after controlling its associations with known stroke risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Obesity is therefore, an independent heart attack risk factor. In one study, the risk of heart attack, after controlling for other risk factors, increased by around 6% for each BMI unit over 25 kg/m2. The precise mechanism for this association is not fully understood, although it is increasingly recognized that sequence of obesity leading to sleep apnea,  which is strong risk factor for atrial fibrillation and thereby heart attack.

Can Obesity cause heart attack

Alongside the independent risk, obesity increases the heart attack risk factor through its association with many classical vascular risk factors, which may usefully be addressed on their own merits in tandem with intervention to promote weight loss. Good control cardiovascular risks and heart attack, including anticoagulation where appropriate for atrial fibrillation, is a key intervention for the prevention of heart attack.

Obesity and Sudden Heart Attack:

Obesity increases the risk of sudden heart attack. A variety of mechanisms have been suggested, which include increased SNS activity, prolongation of the QT interval, and structural heart disease such as coronary artery disease and obesity-related cardiomyopathy. The risk of sudden death due to heart attack is increased by the presence of risk factors for coronary heart disease and obesity.

Prevention of Heart Attack in Obesity:

The risk factors of heart attack in obesity is highly variable, ranging from asymptomatic undiagnosed disease to sudden cardiac death. One of the greatest difficulties in facing the clinician and the patient is in recognizing the silent deadly disease and intervening appropriately to prevent the attack.

Medical Approach:

Patients with obesity should be screened regularly for cardiovascular risk factors by healthcare professionals as a primary step. The individuals especially with obesity as well as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia should not avoid clinical advice of the doctors.

Exercise:

Aerobic exercise of moderate intensity can reduce the risk of sudden heart attack in obesity. Although weight loss may be beneficial for several obesity-related risk factors, the individuals should not forget to incorporate healthy diet with low cholesterol in his daily diet.

Life Style Changes:

Where obesity is complicated by hypertension whereas  weight loss is associated with an improvement in blood pressure. Thus improved blood pressure reduces the risk of sudden heart attack. The management of hypertension in this situation should always start with lifestyle advice centered on diet and exercise along with salt and alcohol restriction. Most patients will require combination anti-hypertension drug therapy.

Sufficient Sleep:

Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your heart in well shape. Try to get 7 -9 hours of quality sleep each night to support overall health and well-being. Obesity sleep apnea should be actively considered in all obese individuals, especially where there is refractory hypertension or daytime somnolence. In that case a medical advice should be taken from your physician.

Healthy Eating Plan:

The patients suffering from heart disease with obesity should stick on healthy diet plan suggested but nutrient adviser if needed. A well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of heart disease. Consume foods enriched with nutrient-dense, such as – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Limit the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages and high-fat snacks.

Final Thought:

It is evidently true that obesity and heart attack are significantly linked together resulting from even sudden death. The excess body weight due to obesity increases the risk of heart attack. However, in primary stages, by understanding the link between obesity and heart attack and executing the effective lifestyle changes, anyone can eliminate the risk factors of heart attack due to obesity by maintaining a healthy body weight. Remember, precaution is better than prevention of obesity and heart disease.

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Hi, I am Tanushree, a general health consultant and advisor provide advices and knowledge on health and nutrition.

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