Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: Here’s What You Need to Know

Obesity may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, but weight loss surgery can help your heart stay healthy.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to improve your cardiovascular health. As obesity is one of the most common risk factors of heart disease, losing weight through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery can help you enjoy a healthy and active life.

Having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or above is linked to conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, all of which can increase your chances of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. Here’s how taking charge of your weight now can help prevent heart problems down the road.

The Connection Between Obesity and Heart Disease

Obesity can impact your heart health in many ways, including:

Changes in Cholesterol Levels:

Obesity can increase bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as reduce your levels of good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol plays an important role in removing bad cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease.

High Blood Pressure:

If you’re obese or overweight, your body requires more blood to circulate oxygen and nutrients. This causes an increase in blood pressure, which is a common cause of heart attacks.

Type 2 Diabetes:

Obesity increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease. In fact, at least 68% of diabetes patients who are over the age of 65 also suffer from heart disease. Fortunately, managing your diabetes through weight loss surgery can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems.

In addition, obesity also causes changes to the size and structure of your heart. An enlarged left ventricle, for instance, can lead to heart failure. Further, high blood pressure can increase your risk of atrial fibrillation and even sudden cardiac death.

Are You at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

Being obese or overweight in and of itself increases your risk of heart disease. However, how your weight is distributed across your body can affect your health, as well. For instance, people with higher waist measurements — over 40 inches for men and over 35 inches for women — tend to be at a greater risk of heart disease.

If you have a BMI of 40 or above, or a BMI of at least 35 with weight-related health conditions, weight loss surgery may be the right option for you. It can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as help manage type 2 diabetes or even reverse the condition entirely.

After your weight loss procedure, you’ll work with your doctor to manage your cardiovascular health through diet and exercise. Ultimately, sustained weight loss and consistent lifestyle changes are the best ways for you to stay healthy and lower your risk of heart disease.

Find out how weight loss surgery can change your life by getting in touch with Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors. We’ll walk you through the details of each of our procedures, making sure you’re confident and comfortable every step of the way. Call 631-206-6924 or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment today.