Metabolically Healthy Obesity Not Without Risk for CVD

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Although metabolically healthy obesity was not significantly associated with CVD, almost half of the study participants developed metabolic syndrome.
Although metabolically healthy obesity was not significantly associated with CVD, almost half of the study participants developed metabolic syndrome.

HealthDay News — Metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) is not a stable or reliable indicator of future cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Morgana Mongraw-Chaffin, Ph.D., from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues used data from 6,809 participants of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis in order to assess the joint association of obesity (≥30 kg/m²) and metabolic syndrome (MetS), using the International Diabetes Federation consensus definition, with CVD and mortality across a median of 12.2 years.

The researchers found that baseline MHO was not significantly associated with incident CVD, compared with metabolically healthy normal weight. However, over the course of follow-up, almost one-half of those participants developed MetS (unstable MHO), which increased the odds of CVD (odds ratio [OR], 1.60), compared with those with stable MHO or healthy normal weight. There was a significant, linear association between dose response for duration of MetS and CVD (one visit with MetS: OR, 1.62; two visits: OR, 1.92; at least three visits: OR, 2.33; P for trend < 0.001). MetS accounted for approximately 62 percent of the relationship between obesity and CVD at any point during follow-up.

"Weight loss and lifestyle management for CVD risk factors should be recommended to all individuals with obesity," the authors write.

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