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Is There a Link Between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease?

Dec, 31 2021

Primary Care

Is There a Link Between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease?
Obesity is linked to several factors that raise your risk of cardiovascular disease. Some of these include metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and more. In this blog, we take a look at how obesity and heart disease are connected.

What Causes Obesity and Weight Gain?

Gaining and retaining excess weight can be caused by a variety of circumstances such as:
  • Food and activity: When you consume more food than you burn during physical activity, you will gain weight.
  • Environment: The environment impacts our tendency to maintain a healthy weight.
    • People find it difficult to be physically active when there are no nearby parks or gyms.
    • Consuming unhealthy foods, such as high-fat snacks and sugary drinks, regularly
  • Genetics: If you have certain disorders, like Prader-Willi syndrome, it can cause obesity. Additionally, your genes also may make you more vulnerable to weight gain.
  • Medications and Medical Conditions: Obesity can be caused by hormone issues such as an underactive thyroid or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Certain medications, like antidepressants and seizure medications, can also cause weight gain.
  • Unhealthy Sleep Routines: Stress, poor mental health, and a lack of sleep are all factors that contribute to poor sleep routines. According to CDC, an unhealthy sleeping schedule can lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Also read: Five Common Foods that Can Help You Sleep Better

Obesity’s Harmful Effects on the Heart

Obesity can adversely impact your heart, so here’s a look at how obesity and cardiovascular disease risk are connected:
  • Obesity increases the chances of other heart disease factors. Hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes caused by obesity can raise your risk of having cardiovascular disease. It can also develop heart-disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, etc.
  • Overweight persons are more likely to have sleep apnea. Metabolic syndrome, hypertension, prediabetes, and lipid abnormalities are more common in overweight persons with mild sleep apnea.
  • Obesity is linked to underlying inflammation. This covert inflammation, as well as the inflammatory chemicals it produces, raises your risk of atherosclerosis. Obesity also causes the release of chemicals in the blood that might cause plaque rupture, resulting in heart attacks.
  • It impacts the ability of your heart to function properly. Obesity can increase your risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) in the heart's upper chambers (atria) that can cause blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related issues. It can also cause cardiac enlargement, which can be caused by untreated hypertension.
  • Obesity puts added strain on your heart. The extra weight you're carrying puts your heart under additional strain. When the heart fills with blood, the pressure rises, leading to heart failure symptoms in the long run.
Also read: How Are Cholesterol and Heart Disease Connected?

Taking Action to Protect Your Heart!

Your weight affects blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and triglyceride levels. Therefore, losing weight lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease substantially.Remember that if your BMI is in the higher range, it's safer to enroll in a medically supervised weight-loss program rather than attempting to lose weight on your own. Additionally, stick to a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and healthy cooking oils to manage your weight. You can also combine aerobic activity and weight training in your workout routine.However, if you want to consult a specialist regarding your weight and your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, request an appointment at MI Express Primary Care now by calling 734-339-2661!Our medical director, Dr. Umayr Azimi, is board certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine. He can create customized weight loss plans to help you manage your weight and also develop a treatment plan to help you keep heart disease at bay.
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