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Body and Heart

September 14, 2009 3 comments

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Weight and Heart Healthheart_disease

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Heart disease is a number of abnormal conditions affecting the heart and the blood vessels in the heart. Types of heart disease include coronary artery disease, heart failure, and arrhythmia. The most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease, a narrowing or blockage of coronary arteries, which is the major reason people have heart attacks.

How is Weight Connected to Heart Disease?

If you are overweight, try eating better and going on a diet or weight loss program such as Fat Burning Furnace, reviewed by MSNBC, New York Times, CNN, and The View.

Overweight is considered a major risk factor for both coronary heart disease and heart attack. Being 20% overweight or more significantly increases your risk for developing heart disease, especially if you have a lot of abdominal fat. The American Heart Association has found that even if you have no other related health conditions, obesity itself increases risk of heart disease.

Being sedentary causes heart disease risk to increase, possibly even more so for women -– inactive females are more likely to become diabetic, have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol. All three of these conditions increase the chance of developing heart disease.

If you are overweight, try eating better and going on a diet or weight loss program such as Fat Burning Furnace, reviewed by MSNBC, New York Times, CNN, and The View.

Apples vs. Pears

Your risk of developing heart disease may be heightened even more by the way your weight is distributed on your body. Being overweight and “apple-shaped” — meaning you carry most of your excess weight in your abdominal area — is considered riskier than being overweight and “pear-shaped.” Apple-shaped individuals also have many other increased health risks including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and stroke.

To find out if your waistline increases your risk of heart disease, you can measure yourself with a measuring tape. You may need a partner to help you measure accurately. The measurement should be taken at the narrowest part of your waist. A high-risk waistline is 35 inches or higher for women and 40 inches or higher for men.

What You Can Do

The good news is, reducing your weight by just 10% can begin to lower your risk of developing heart disease and other obesity-related health problems. Heart disease can often be connected to “known risk factors” with being overweight considered a “modifiable” risk factor (a risk you can do something to prevent). Age and race, on the other hand, are “nonmodifiable” risk factors.

In addition to managing your weight, you can reduce your chances of developing heart disease by controlling other related risk factors such as: controlling your blood pressure, lowering your cholesterol, quitting smoking and getting enough exercise.

A healthy diet is also an important part of lowering your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends a diet that contains no more than 30% of daily calories from fat. For example, if you eat a diet of 2,000 calories per day, no more than 600 calories should come from fat.

To assess your caloric intake and recommended calories from fat, visit My Fat Translator, a Web site from the American Heart Association.

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All products are reviewed by CenterHealth board of Medicine and Treatment

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Categories: Health