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Overweight Walking City Street

Being Overweight or Obese Associated With Increase in Weight and Size of Heart

Having a heavier and bigger heart increases the risk of heart problems, including heart attacks. A recent study has found a link between being overweight and obese and an overall increased heart weight.


Participants in the study included 4,561people whose data was in the UK Biobank database. The researchers examined cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to study the structure and function of the hearts of all of the participants.


After adjusting for risk factors that can’t be modified, the researchers were able to see and measure the direct impact of blood pressure, smoking status, body mass index (BMI), exercise, cholesterol, alcohol intake, and diabetes on the heart. BMI was found to be the modifiable risk factor most consistently associated with higher heart mass. Systolic blood pressure was found to the be second modifiable risk factor most associated with higher heart mass.


Researchers from Queen Mary University of London led the study. It was published on October 3, 2017, in PLOS ONE.


Obesity has far ranging negative effect on health. Each year, obesity causes approximately 300,000 premature deaths in the United States. The negative health effects associated with obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome and sleep apnea.


Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. It is recommended that we eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables per day. It also recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity every day.

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