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Excess Body Weight May Predict Treatment After MI

Obese and overweight men and women treated more aggressively after myocardial infarction

THURSDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obese men and women who have experienced a myocardial infarction may be more likely to receive effective cardiac treatment regimens at the hospital compared with their normal-weight counterparts, according to a report in the June issue of the American Heart Journal.

Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., and colleagues reviewed the medications and procedures given to 3,513 men and women who had acute myocardial infarction and were hospitalized at 11 different medical centers between 1997 and 2003.

The researchers found that approximately 68 percent of men and 55 percent of women with a confirmed myocardial infarction were classified as being obese or overweight. Obese men and women were significantly younger than patients with a lower body mass index, and were given more effective treatments, including cardiac catheterization and medications such as aspirin, beta-blockers, lipid-lowering drugs and thrombolytics. The risk of dying during hospitalization was comparable for both groups. However, obese men and women were at greater risk for developing heart failure during hospital stays.

"The results of this community study suggest an association between body mass index and the use of different treatment approaches in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Further examination of the impact of excess body weight on hospital outcomes associated with acute myocardial infarction remains warranted," the authors conclude.

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