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Normal weight obesity: An emerging risk factor for heart and metabolic problems
Date:3/27/2008

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  • Improving public health programs for reducing risk

  • Designing new and better clinical rehabilitation programs for heart patients

    While a focus on maintaining a healthy weight has long been a centerpiece of these efforts, Mayos new study suggests the focus may need to shift. Instead of tracking weight and BMI only, public health measures to prevent heart disease might benefit more from measuring the belly or by assessing percentage of body fat as more reliable risk factors of heart disease. Mayo studies in 2006 and 2007 suggested this criterion by demonstrating the inability of BMI to discriminate between body fat and lean muscle. Combined, the data from our earlier work and the current study suggest its time for a new measure of body fat as a risk factor of heart disease, says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

    About the Study

    The researchers studied 2,127 adults, equally divided between men and women, who had normal weight (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 units). The participants body composition was assessed, and their risk factors for metabolic and heart disease were collected by the U.S. government in its Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/elec_prods/subject/nhanes3.htm.

    From this data, researchers found that normal weight obesity appears to be highly prevalent, affecting more than half of patients with a normal weight as defined by the BMI. After controlling for age, sex and race, normal weight obesity subjects had significantly higher rates of several alterations in blood chemistry that can negatively affect heart and metabolism health. These markers of disregulation include:

    • Altered blood lipid profile, such as cholesterol

    • High leptin, a hormone found in fat and other tissues and is involved in appetite regulation

    • Higher rates of me
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    Contact: Traci Klein
    newsbureau@mayo.edu
    507-284-5005
    Mayo Clinic
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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