Created on: March 20, 2013
Everyone has heard of the endless studies that tell of the evils of obesity. Being overweight is a sure fire way of developing diabetes, and can cause a person to have troubles breathing and walking. In fact, there are numerous studies, which have indicated that America is on record pace in terms of the number of obese people in this country. With all that said, here is a fact about obesity that no one saw coming, and in some ways, it is actually a positive.
As crazy as this may sound, obesity in cardiac patients may prevent heart-related death. That would seem in stark contrast to what is drilled into the American public, from physicians all the way up to the First Lady. It is something called the obesity paradox, which is defined in a Reuters article as being, "The idea that being somewhat overweight could be linked to better health."
There have been numerous studies which have drawn this conclusion, and it is not just a small sample size that accounts for it. There have been more than 3 million people examined in accordance with these studies, so the numbers are legitimate. The question is how can this be possible? After all, people that are obese are also noted to develop problems like heart disease and diabetes because of their weight issues.
One study that was conducted at the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden studied acute coronary syndrome in 64,000 cases, and found that the group that had higher instance of death were the underweight, or those who were morbidly obese. Those that were just overweight, or in the moderately obese category tended to have a better chance of surviving. Again, this seems total against the rules of logic, but the numbers back up the results.
Dr. Oskar Angeras, who was a cardiologist in the Sweden study, is quoted as saying, "in acute coronary syndrome, the obesity paradox suggests that there could be protective mechanisms in either fatty tissue or in obese patients' that reduce the risk of mortality." Cutting through the medical talk, the doctor is basically saying that obese people survive heart attacks more, but doctors do not know exactly why this is the case as of yet.
With this information in hand, does this mean everyone should pack into the local fast food establishments and chow down? The answer to that would be no from the perspective of the researchers involved in these studies. While the survival rate for obese people is better with a heart attack, the problem is that obesity is what causes some of these patients to have the heart attack in the first place. The doctors still recommend exercise and eating healthy as the best way to avoid having the heart issues in the first place.
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