Being overweight or suffering from obesity is an independent & modifiable risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD).An overweight person may develop hypertension, type-II diabetes, and musculoskeletal disorder, putting them at high risk of CVD.Overweight and obesity are classified by an individual’s body mass index (BMI).BMI is measured by dividing a person’s weight in kg by their height squared in meters. In adults, being overweight is defined as a BMI of 25.0-29.9 kg/m2 (for Indian population its 23.0-24.9 kg/m2 and obesity is defined as a BMI of 30.0kg/m2 or greater (for Indian population its 25.0 kg/m2 or greater).
Obesity and Heart Risk:
There is a well-documented association between obesity and increased risk of developing heart disease.Recently WHO declared waist height ratio, the best indicator for developing cardiovascular disease. Obesity can also be assessed by a rapid and invasive method known as skinfold thickness (SFT) and best site to measure SFT is mid triceps.
Centrally located fat (truncal fat) is more important determinant than peripheral fat for developing cardiovascular disease.Increased body weight leads to increased risk of developing type-II diabetes and incidence of hypertension rises. Excess fat can also affect an individual’s blood pressure and blood lipid levels and interferes with their ability to use insulin effectively.
Hypertension, Lipid Imbalance, and Heart Disease:
HTN and dyslipidemia frequently occur together in association with resistance to insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Insulin resistance is also associated with an unfavorable imbalance between blood flow and blood stasis due to endothelial and platelet factors. When these risk factors cluster, the rise of heart disease, stroke increase. Abdominal obesity with insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia also known as metabolic syndrome.
So, obesity (central > peripheral) along with genetic factors, sedentary lifestyle, underlying comorbidities have a great impact on developing cardiovascular disease.