BP, Cholesterol Big Players in Heart Disease in Overweight

About half of increased heart disease risk due to these two factors

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels account for about half the increased risk of coronary heart disease due to overweight, according to study findings published in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Rik P. Bogers, Ph.D., from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, and colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies involving 302,296 healthy individuals to examine the effect of moderate overweight (body mass index 25-29.9) and obesity (body mass index of 30 or greater) on the risk of coronary heart disease.

The researchers found there were 18,000 cases of coronary heart disease during the follow-up period. The adjusted relative risk of heart disease was 1.32 for moderately overweight individuals and 1.81 for obese individuals, which was reduced to 1.17 and 1.49, respectively, after further adjusting for blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

"Adverse effects of overweight on blood pressure and cholesterol levels could account for about 45 percent of the increased risk of coronary heart disease," the authors conclude. "Even for moderate overweight, there is a significant increased risk of coronary heart disease independent of these traditional risk factors, although confounding (e.g., by dietary factors) cannot be completely ruled out."

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