Obesity’s Impact on the Heart

Obesity’s Impact on the HeartFor a very long time, the link between obesity and heart disease was looked at as an indirect one. Statistically, it was evident that people who struggled with excess weight were more inclined to suffer from heart disease. However, the evidence that obesity was actually causing heart disease was not strong enough for researchers to confidently call obesity a cause for concern.

That question has long passed. Over the past decade there has been an overwhelming amount of evidence connecting obesity with heart disease, including the enhanced risk of experiencing heart attack and stroke.

The Risk

According to the American Heart Association, men between the age of 40 and 65 who are considered overweight or obese have a 72% increased chance of developing coronary heart disease. While not fatal in all circumstances, any form of heart disease is a serious threat that should be cause for alarm. Coronary heart disease is the most common form of heart disease, and while dangerous, it is highly preventable if certain precautions are taken.

Here are a few more startling statistics about heart disease: 

  • Heart disease is one of the most common causes of deaths in the United States, accounting for more than 25% of all fatalities.
  • Approximately 785,000 people will experience their first heart attack every year. About half of that population will experience a second heart attack at some point.
  • Treatment for heart disease costs more than 110 billion dollars in health care costs annually in the United States alone.

With obesity becoming a more common problem every year, heart disease continues to grow as a national health issue. Across the United States, approximately two-thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese. This means that two-thirds of the adult population are at an increased risk for experiencing heart attack or stroke.

There are things that you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease. Making the decision to lose weight and undergoing bariatric surgery can make a huge positive impact in your life. As you are losing weight, you will want to take steps to improve your heart health and prevent serious cardiac concerns. Being careful with food choices and reducing your intake of fast foods is a great place to start, as is increasing your exercise level. Cardiovascular exercise is especially helpful in enhancing heart health, but should be eased into gradually.

Before you make any sudden changes to your diet or exercise habits, talk to your weight loss surgeon. If you are struggling with obesity, it is important that you work closely with your doctor as you lose weight so that you can ensure that you are doing what is best for your heart at every point.