Tiny Bit of Flab Raises Heart Risk
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.
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).
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