How does being overweight for years affect the heart?
There are various causes of heart disease - for example, obesity. New US research now suggests that not only does obesity increase the risk of heart disease, but also how long someone has been overweight in life.
In their current study, scientists at Johns Hopkins University found that the amount of time people are overweight in their lives has a strong impact on the development of heart disease. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Clinical Chemistry".
9,062 subjects were examined for the study
A total of 9,062 participants without a history of cardiovascular diseases were examined in the study. Between 1987 and 1998 these were under medical observation. The results show that the number of years that people have overweight leads to a significant risk factor for the development of heart problems later in life.
What were participants examined for?
Participants were examined a total of four times during the study, with the team analyzing the body mass index (BMI), cardiac disorders and the troponin level. This protein is released into the bloodstream during a heart attack. The presence of the protein indicates an increased risk of heart failure.
From which BMI do people suffer from being overweight?
In addition to their weight, which was measured during the study, the participants themselves reported their weight at the age of 25. This enabled the researchers to track the BMI from young adulthood to late middle age. A BMI greater than 25 indicates that a person is overweight, and a BMI greater than 30 indicates obesity.
Obesity massively increased the troponin level
After monitoring the BMI along with the troponin level from the beginning to the end of the study, the physicians were able to determine that if the BMI of the participant increased to overweight or obesity on the fourth visit, the test subjects had a troponin 1.5 times higher Levels (which was at least 14 nanograms per liter), which indicates heart damage.
Years of being overweight are a risk factor for heart disease
After considering other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease, the researchers also found that every ten years that a person was overweight increased the risk of an increase in troponin levels by 1.25 times. This suggests that the number of years of obesity or being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease.
A healthy body weight protects the heart
The researchers emphasize that maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is important to keep the heart healthy and to minimize the risk of problems.
More research is needed
While there is some evidence that weight loss can help reduce existing troponin levels even after decades of obesity or overweight, which also seems to improve heart health, it is not clear how strong the heart is regenerated, explains study author Professor Chiadi Ndumele from Johns Hopkins University. How long-term the damage is after years of obesity is not yet known and needs further research, the expert concludes. (as)