We already know, or at least we should know, that America has an obesity problem. It's been labeled an epidemic by health officials. But for some reason, even though the condition is linked to all sorts of health problems, many of us don't consider losing weight and eating a healthy diet, a major priority. A lot of people take the attitude of getting around to it someday. Maybe today should be that day.
Research supported by the National Institutes of Health says the length of time a young adult is obese is associated with the development of silent, or subclinical, heart disease in middle age, independent of body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference. Each year that a young adult is obese increases that person’s risk of developing coronary artery calcification, a subclinical predictor of heart disease, by 2 to 4 percent.
That should be enough to get anyone diagnosed as overweight or obese to get on that diet and change their lifestyle if they want to live to a ripe old age. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes, cancer and for subclinical heart disease. That's when people exhibit mild or no symptoms so it's seemingly silent.
This is the first known study to show that a longer duration of obesity also contributes independently to the development of subclinical heart disease.
The researchers collected and examined data from 3,275 Caucasian and African-American adults, ages 18-30 years, who were enrolled in the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute- (NHLBI) supported Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA) in the mid-1980s, around the start of the obesity epidemic in the United States.
The study participants were followed for 25 years, from young adulthood to middle age. Every 2 to 5 years, participants were examined to determine if and when they became obese and how long they stayed obese. CT scans given at years 15, 20, or 25 determined the presence of coronary artery calcification.
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