More bad news for overweight Americans: a 30-year study finds that the risk of heart disease increases the longer a person is obese.
"Each year of obesity was associated with an increase of 2 to 4% in the risk of coronary heart disease subclinical, "said the study's lead author, Jared Reis, epidemiologist at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the USA UU
A heart disease "subclinical" means damage in the arteries that appears in markers, such as, for example, the accumulation of calcium on the walls of the arteries , but that has not yet become a symptomatic disease.
"Those who had the longest duration of general obesity and abdominal obesity tended to have the greatest risk" of subclinical disease said Reis.
The report was published in the July 17 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the new study, Reis' team used scanners to track the accumulation of calcium in the arteries cardiac events of almost 3,300 adults aged 18 to 30 years. When the study began in the mid-1980s, none of the participants was obese.
But over the course of the study, more than 40% became obese and 41% developed abdominal obesity (excessive belly fat). Those who became obese tended to stay that way for years, the researchers noted.
The researchers found that 27.5% of long-term obese participants showed signs of heart disease, and the problem got worse the longer the individual was obese.
More than 38% of those who spent more than 20 years with obesity had calcified arteries, compared to only about a quarter of those who never increased that excess weight, the findings showed.
Among those with general obesity, 6.5% had a arterial calcification "extensive" more dangerous, like 9% of those who had obesity around the belly. In contrast, only about 5% of those who were not obese had extensive calcification, the researchers found.
Reis said the findings could have serious implications for Americans as they get older.
"With the increase in cases of obesity in the last 30 years, younger individuals are becoming more obese at a younger age than in previous generations," he noted.
"This longer duration of obesity could have important implications for future suffering due to heart disease subclinical and potentially for the rates of heart disease clinic in the United States ".
Another expert in the heart agreed
"The rates of obesity in children and adults have increased markedly in the United States, in the last 25 years", lamented the Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California , in Los Angeles. "This is particularly worrying given that obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, andcardiovascular disease premature and mortality ".