High Blood Pressure in Overweight People

High blood pressure can increase the risk of cardiovascular related disease, in overweight people, according to a report in the Journal of American Heart Association.

The findings were made by researchers in France, who studied 104,236 French women and 139,562 French men over a period of approximately 14 years. The average woman’s age was 41 and the man’s average age was 43. The group were given routine checkups on their blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, from about the period 19721988.

Approximately 5% of each group were considered to be obese: 42% of the men and 21% of women were considered to be overweight. During the 14 years, 2,949 men and 929 women died from heart related diseases.

Among the findings:

Overweight subjects who also had high blood pressure were twice as likely to have a fatal heart attack or stroke, than those people who were overweight but had normal blood pressure.

Overweight men with high blood pressure and diabetes were 3 times more likely to increase the risk of cardiovascular death; whereas women with the same symptoms were 4 times more likely to increase the risk, compared to men and women of normal weight and blood pressure.

Overweight men with high cholesterol had only a slight increase in cardiovascular related deaths, but there was no increase in cardiovascular deaths for overweight women with high cholesterol. Similarly, overweight diabetics who had normal blood pressure also did not seem to be at an increased risk of cardiovascular death.

To conclude, it would therefore appear that the more overweight high blood pressure people seem to be more at risk from cardiovascular problems.
One of the risks associated with obesity is that it causes an increase in bad cholesterol (LDL) while decreasing the good cholestrol (HDL) in the body. Further, obesity also can cause type 2 diabetes which, together with high cholesterol, can drive up the risk of heart related disease.

To reduce these risks, treatments should target both areas (weight reduction and high blood pressure).

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