The Link between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

Obesity is a major problem in the U.S. and other countries all around the world. Approximately 400 million adults are obese and one billion people are overweight worldwide. About 17.6 million children are considered overweight worldwide. Obesity is caused mainly because of an unhealthy lifestyle such as high-fat diets, animal-based diets, and physical inactivity. Several developing countries are also facing obesity and malnutrition as a great health problem. Obesity is considered as the major cause of insulin resistance, which leads to pre-diabetes or diabetes in obese people. Another risk factor of being obese is the probability of developing cardiovascular diseases.Obesity Beach Picture

Obesity causes diabetes, hypertension and atherosclerosis, and these conditions increases the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular diseases consist of several abnormal conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels in the heart. Obesity or being overweight is considered as the main risk factor of developing heart attack and coronary heart disease. If you are obese or overweight, your chances of developing cardiovascular disease increase by 20% in comparison to people with normal weight. The chances of developing cardiovascular disease still increases if you have abdominal fat. Some of the risk factors that trigger the development of cardiovascular disease are:

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is caused by the hardening of artery walls which reduces the elasticity of the arteries. The hardening of the arteries results in the blockage of the vessels. The blockage of arteries is due to the fiber-like and fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries. Atherosclerosis causes cardiovascular disease when the blockage occurs in the blood vessels of the heart. The blockage of arteries in the heart leads to heart attack and coronary artery disease. Strokes are caused when atherosclerosis affects the brain and peripheral artery disease when it affects peripheral arteries. High BMI is highly associated with atherosclerosis as it results in the increase in the circumference of waistline, hip ratio and subcutaneous deposition of fat in the abdomen. The association between obesity and atherosclerosis is more common in men than in women who haven’t reached their menopause.

High Blood Cholesterol

Heart-Coronary-Artery3The occurrence of obesity and high blood cholesterol level together increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.

Body Fat and Obesity

Abdominal body fat in obese persons is associated with several cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks, stroke and high blood pressure. Abdominal fat increases the level of LDL or bad cholesterol and decreases the level of good or HDL cholesterol. Cardiomyopathy is caused by the direct influence of obesity as it increases the fat content in the heart. Fat cells replace various tissues in the heart like atrioventricular node, sinus node, myocardium, and right bundle branch. The blockage of heart tissues causes defects in atrioventricular block, bundle branch and sinus node, which in turn results in heart failure.

High blood Pressure and Obesity

High blood pressure and obesity are correlated as people with higher BMI are prone to the risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure also causes cardio vascular complications in obese people such as heart attacks and stroke.

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