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Drugs Alone Don't Lower Heart Disease Risks for Overweight Americans
Date:5/12/2008

Study finds signs of trouble show up even when statins, blood pressure meds are used

MONDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Daily doses of statins and blood pressure medications will not be enough to prevent heart disease among the ever-growing number of Baby Boomers who are overweight or obese, a new study suggests.

The simple truth, experts say, is that pounds must also be shed to keep cardiovascular trouble away.

"There is a debate out there about whether this generation is going to live as long as their parents, and the truth is they probably won't," said study author Dr. Gregory L. Burke, director of the division of public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of medicine in Winston-Salem, NC.

"My ultimate worry is that we've seen a 50-year decline in cardiovascular disease mortality, but if you begin to look at recent trends, it's beginning to plateau," he added. "And my fear is that because of the increase in obesity we're going to begin to see a reversal of that trend where heart disease rates begin to go up."

The research involving 6,814 men and women aged 45 to 84 revealed an even greater prevalence of overweight and obesity than shown in similar studies done five years earlier. Depending on the demographic group, between 60 percent and 85 percent of the participants were overweight and between 30 percent and 50 percent were obese, the federally funded study found. The obesity epidemic is more likely environmentally than genetically driven, Burke said. The differences between the weights of white, black and Hispanic Americans are no longer as meaningful, he stressed. Only Chinese-Americans have significantly less obesity (5 percent) than other ethnic groups.

A decade ago, experts thought the heart-related risks of obesity could be counterbalanced by the treatment of risk factors such as high cholesterol and glucose intolerance, Burke explained. People thought that, "Gosh, al
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