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New Study Suggests That 'Healthy Obesity' Can Still Lead To Cardiovascular Disease

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A new study has debunked the theory that people who are overweight or considered obese are still at risk of serious health issues. The study suggests that women who are obese but are healthy still have a higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Obesity Doesn't Equal Healthy

The study, that was published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, studied the health of over 90,000 women in the United States for the past 30 years. Women who were overweight had a higher risk of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack, even though they had no traces of diabetes and had normal blood pressure.

The study also found for those who had a BMI (body mass index) of 25 and 30 were at 25 percent and 39 percent of developing certain cardiovascular diseases in comparison to women who were of a normal weight and metabolically healthy. Women who were of a normal weight but metabolically healthy were two and a half more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who were the same weight and were metabolically healthy.

The authors of the study noted that these findings show an association rather than a cause and effect and that this mainly occurred in Caucasian women, which means this study cannot be used to generalize other racial groups or even men.

Health experts also found that the even though the risk was greater in women who were overweight, those who are metabolically healthy developed high blood pressure, diabetes, or excess cholesterol as they got older.

Being Fit vs. Being Overweight

Lead author of the study, Professor Matthias Schulze, stated the study confirms that metabolically healthy obesity is not a harmless condition and women who remain free of any cardiovascular diseases for decades can still be at risk of them.

Professor Schulze added that these new findings show the importance of preventing the development of metabolic diseases. The Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, Jeremy Pearson, added that the study proves even if obesity is not accompanied with other warning signs, it still increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women.

Professor Carl Lavie, from the University of Queensland School of Medicine, argued that he and his colleagues believe fitness is more important than fatness. Lavie, who was not a part of the study, claimed that the study did not have the data of the participant's physical or cardio fitness. He continues that it's important to remember that an "ounce of prevention" is better than a "pound of cure."

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