Does obesity cause heart disease and stroke?

Obesity is among the leading causes of elevated cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and morbidity. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and morbidity has been shown to be elevated in individuals who are overweight, particularly with central deposition of adipose tissues. Abdominal obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for CVD worldwide. Obesity is associated with hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, or insulin resistance, and elevated levels of fibrinogen and C-reactive protein, all of which increase the risk of CVD events.


Nearly 70% of adults are classified as overweight or obese compared with 25% four decades ago. If the current trends continue, obesity may overtake cigarette abuse as the leading cause of preventable diseases. BMI and stroke were shown to have a strong association; for each one-unit increase in BMI, there was a 4% increase in the risk of ischemic stroke and 6% increase for hemorrhagic stroke.

Obesity may affect the heart through its influence on known risk factors such as dyslipidemia, hypertension, glucose intolerance, inflammatory markers, obstructive sleep apnea/hypoventilation, and the prothrombotic state, in addition to as-yet-unrecognized mechanisms. On the whole, overweight and obesity are associated with numerous cardiac complications such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, and sudden death because of their impact on the cardiovascular system.

It was suggested that the life-shortening effect of obesity could rise as the obese that are now at younger ages carry their elevated risk of death into middle and older ages.


It is time for us to take some preventive measures to reduce the incidence of obesity.

 -Dr.Bhavani Sagar Surampallly

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