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Weight and Coronary Artery Disease

Topic Overview

There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Losing weight and staying at a healthy weight can help lower your risk for CAD. Weight loss frequently improves other risk factors related to CAD, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and may also help control diabetes.

If you have CAD, your doctor will likely suggest staying at a healthy weight or losing weight if you need to. Your doctor can help you find a weight loss program that can work for you.

What is the importance of body fat distribution?

The distribution of body fat in part may determine the negative impact of obesity on your health. Specifically, the relationship between your waist measurement and your hip measurement, called your waist-to-hip ratio, might play a role in your risk for health problems. If your waist-to-hip ratio is high, it means you are carrying most of your body fat around your abdomen. Fat deposits, especially around the abdomen area, may be an important independent risk factor for diabetes and coronary artery disease.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Redberg RF, et al. (2009). ACCF/AHA 2009 Performance measures for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Performance Measures. Circulation, 120(13): 1296–1336.
  • Smith SC, et al. (2011). AHA/ACCF secondary prevention and risk reduction therapy for patients with coronary and other atherosclerotic vascular disease: 2011 update: A guideline from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Foundation. Circulation, 124(22): 2458–2473. Also available online: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/124/22/2458.full.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Current as of March 12, 2014

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