Obesity makes heart disease hard to detect and treat

Credit: Unsplash+.

In a study from Mayo Clinic, scientists found that being overweight impacts your heart health in more ways than you might think.

They examined how obesity affects the common tests used to diagnose heart disease and impacts treatments.

The team says excess fat acts as a kind of filter and can skew test readings to under-or overdiagnosis.

Obesity affects nearly all the diagnostic tests used in cardiology, such as ECG, CT scan, MRI and echocardiogram.

In addition, procedural interventions such as stent placement via the leg, or heart surgery, can be more difficult to perform in patients with significant obesity and may involve more complications, like increased risk of infection at the wound site.

Common drug therapies to treat heart disease may need to be adjusted up or down in patients with obesity.

Some medications, such as beta-blockers, may affect a patient’s ability to lose weight.

The team stresses the importance of trying alternative approaches to prevent these patients from gaining weight or help them to lose weight.

They suggest that recommendations to lose weight can be difficult to follow because heart patients have a harder time moving and will feel symptoms like shortness of breath when they exercise.

Those symptoms often discourage patients from doing physical activity, but the team notes that exercise is important, not only to lose weight but for heart health.

The team also says accurately defining a person’s level of obesity is important. Body mass index (BMI)―a measure of body fat based on height and weight―has long been used to define the severity of obesity.

But people with significant amounts of muscle will have a high BMI. People with little muscle mass and more waistline fat might record a low BMI but have normal-weight obesity.

Measurements such as waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference provide a more accurate assessment of heart risk.

If you care about weight management, please read studies about diets that could boost your gut health and weight loss, and 10 small changes you can make today to prevent weight gain.

For more information about weight loss, please read studies that avocado could help you lose weight and belly fat, and a keto diet for weight loss can cause flu-like symptoms.

The study was conducted by Francisco Lopez-Jimenez et al and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.