Thursday, June 5, 2008

Obesity & Heart Failure


A study in the recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that obesity is associated with prolonged inflammation of the heart, which can lead to congestive heart failure.

The 79 male study participants out of the 6,914 men who developed congestive heart failure had far higher levels of inflammatory proteins interleukin-6, fibrinogen and C-reactive protein compared with the nonobese participants. Near doubling of interleukin-6 levels was associated with an 84 percent greater risk of developing heart failure, and near tripling of c-reactive protein with a 36 percent greater risk than those with lower levels.

More and more evidence is building a case that suggests weight-related inflammation to be the chemical route obesity uses to target the heart and other organs, and that inflammation may play an important role in the increased risk of heart failure in overweight and obese people.

Recent government data suggests that 65 percent of the US population is now overweight and 33 percent of the US population is now clinically obese. These alarming numbers can change with lifestyle modification that includes consumption of calorie-restricted, nutrient-dense diets, portion control, full-spectrum supplementation and exercise.

8 comments:

Larry A. said...

You are right!

Lifestyle modification is the only way we can effectively address the coming US healthcare crisis, no matter who is elected to take George Bush's place.

James Waugh, MD said...

Ellen,

Some British researchers did a study and found that most people have not reduced their energy expenditure as much as we are lead to believe. This study from The International Journal of Obesity concluded that it's the dramatic increase in empty calorie processed food intake that's the real cause of weight problems in the U.S.

Spencer Thornton, M.D. said...

Right on!

One of the problems though is social inaction. That is, because of "political correctness", we cannot point out the toxicity of obesity without being accused of discrimination against "fat people"!

An example of this is the obese doctor I talked to yesterday about the problem of obesity and its effect on a number of diseases. He reacted as if I had called him a bad name (well, worse than that. He said something unrepeatable), taking it very personally.

So, how is one to get the word out? Even moderately overweight people need to know the dangers of fat accumulation.

People (even doctors) don't pay enough attention to the need for lifestyle changes and dietary modification.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it's politically or morally correct for doctors to not discuss the increased risk of disease with their overweight patients, since excessive weight is now linked to all degenerative disease, including eye disease.

The Hippocratic oath clearly states "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone."

Furthermore, The AMA report #4 from the Council on Scientific Affairs (A-05) has made it clear that the physician has the responsibility to address the public health burden of obesity.

Anonymous said...

What is happening to our country. Now doctors can't say certain things because of fear of offending someone. That is ridiculous. If someone is unhealthly a doctor should say something. It is what we pay them for.

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