Researchers have observed in a recent study that women who are obese in middle age have premature thickening of the carotid arteries. Recent research has marked to the carotid arteries in the neck as a useful marker for the health of the arteries that serve the heart. If the linings of the carotid arteries are thickened, then it's more likely the person will suffer from heart disease.
In a new study, doctors in Texas looked at carotid wall thickening in a group of more than 5,050 women. They found that those who were obese were more likely to have thickened carotid arteries, whatever their other risk factors for heart problems. This new study is yet another wake-up call for overweight women if they want to avoid heart disease. Excess weight, on its own, seems to be a significant risk factor.