Obesity is the most common risk factors for most of the prevailing ailments. A new study finds obesity is an important risk factor for heart failure in both men and women. Till now, doctors identifies extreme obesity as a risk factor for heart failure. However, it has been unclear if lesser degrees of obesity also pose a risk. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine investigated the relationship between body mass index and heart failure. They used information collected on more than 4,200 participants in the Heart Study.
About 50 percent of the participants were women and the rest were men. The average age was 52 years old. The individuals were followed for up to 14 years. Researchers looked at who had heart failure, what their other risk factors were, and their body mass index.
Even after adjusting for other risk factors, researchers found a 5 percent increase in the risk of heart failure for men and 7 percent for women for each 1-point increase in body mass index.
(Body mass index is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters.) When compared to participants with a normal body mass index, obese individuals had a doubling effect of the risk of heart failure. Given the high prevalence of obesity
in the United States, researchers say strategies are needed to promote optimal body weight to reduce the risk of heart failure.