A new study, said to be one of the largest of its kind, yet again links severe obesity to prolonged inflammation of heart tissues and subsequent heart failure.
“The biological effects of obesity on the heart are quite profound,” said João Lima of Johns Hopkins and a co-author of the study. “Even if obese people feel otherwise healthy, there are measurable and early chemical signs of damage to their heart, beyond the well-known implications for diabetes and high blood pressure.”
He added that there was “now even more reason for them to lose weight, increase their physical activity and improve their eating habits”.
The latest findings are from the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis to be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal of the American College of Cardiology.
As part of the study, researchers tracked the development of heart failure in an ethnically diverse group of nearly 7,000 men and women, aged 45 to 84, who were enrolled for MESA. Of the 79 who have developed congestive heart failure so far, 35 (44 per cent) were physically obese, having a body mass index of 30 or greater.
And on average, obese participants were found to have higher blood levels of interleukin 6, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, key immune system proteins involved in inflammation, than non-obese adults.