November 21, 2013
Metabolically Healthy Obese People Still Face Risk Of Heart Disease
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Even if an obese person is metabolically healthy, he or she still faces an increased risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research published online in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
While previous studies have produced conflicting reports as to whether or not obese men and women can avoid high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low high-density lipoproteins (HDL) levels and other medical issues that raise the risk of metabolic disease, researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have discovered that even metabolically healthy people with high BMI could be unhealthy.
“Unfortunately, our findings suggest metabolically healthy obesity is not a benign condition,” corresponding author Dr. Carlos Lorenzo, explained Wednesday in a statement. “Regardless of their current metabolic health, people who are obese face an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the future.”
Dr. Lorenzo and his colleagues reviewed data from the population-based San Antonio Heart Study (SAHS) to assess diabetes incidence in over 2,800 subjects and cardiovascular disease incidence in another 3,700 people. The SAHS study followed-up with participants for between six and 10 years.
The team behind the newly-published analysis looked at whether or not there was a difference between normal weight people with at least two metabolic conditions and metabolically-healthy obese people when it comes to developing diabetes or heart disease.
In order to determine metabolic health, the study authors examined whether or not the participants had high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride and blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and decreased HDL cholesterol. Subjects were declared metabolically healthy if they had zero or only one of the above characteristics.
“The analysis found that increased body mass index was linked to an elevated risk of developing diabetes,” the Endocrine Society wrote. “Normal weight people who had multiple metabolic abnormalities also faced an increased risk of developing diabetes. Both groups faced an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease after taking into account demographics and smoking behavior.”
“Our data demonstrate the importance of continuing to monitor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in both people with metabolically healthy obesity and those who have metabolically abnormalities despite being a normal weight,” added Lorenzo. “If physicians and patients are too complacent about assessing risk, we can miss important opportunities to prevent the development of chronic and even deadly conditions.”