Obese people likely to be at high risk for heart disease:Study

"Patients taking medications to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels were less likely to attain recommended targets for these cardiovascular disease risk factors than their normal weight counterparts," a study, presented at the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, said.
Resident at the University of Toronto Dr Vineet Bhan, who led the research, examined a large number of people deemed to be at high risk for heart disease and stroke to find out if there were differences in achieving guideline-recommended targets for blood pressure and cholesterol levels according to body mass index (BMI).

"This, to our knowledge, is the first study looking at patients with established cardiovascular disease who are on treatment to see how obesity relates to the control of these risk factors," Dr Bhan said.
The observational study was based on two outpatient registries led by senior co-author, Dr Shaun Goodman, and coordinated by the Canadian Heart Research Centre.

Senior author Dr Andrew Yan said: "Although a direct cause-and-effect relationship cannot be proven, our data would suggest that pharmacologic treatment alone without achieving optimal weight may not be adequate".

"This is a potentially important message to get across to doctors, especially primary care physicians who are on the front line managing these high risk patients in the long term," Yan said.
Dr Charles Kerr, president of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society added: "It is very clear that there is an interaction here that is critical. You can't as effectively lower your cholesterol or your blood pressure without losing the weight."

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