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HHS HealthBeat (July 30, 2013)

Longer fat


HHS HealthBeat: An overweight woman is looking down at the scale she is standing on.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

It may not be just being obese that raises the risk of heart disease – it could also be how long you are obese. Researchers saw an indication of this in 25 years of data on close to 3,300 people. At the National Institutes of Health, Jared Reis was looking at subclinical heart disease, such as the buildup of fats inside arteries, starting in young adulthood.

“With about every additional year of obesity, the risk of developing subclinical coronary heart disease increased by about 2 to 4 percent.”

Reis says the risk compounds – each year’s additional risk builds on the base of the previous year’s. So he says controlling weight early in adulthood can have big benefits later.

The study was in the Journal of the American Medical Association .

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 30, 2013