• Studies: Weight, Blood Pressure Control Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancers

    Studies: Weight, Blood Pressure Control Reduce Risk of Heart Disease, Cancers

    By Dr. Kenneth Rothaus, M.D.

    Patients freely come to the plastic surgeon’s office seeking liposuction or other modalities such as sculpture lasers to reduce the amount of fat around their abdomen, their so-called spare tire. Location of this fat can make a difference not only in the ability of the surgeon to remove it but also in its effects on their health and well-being. Physicians have known for a long time that patients whose fat is located deep in the abdomen – that is, below the muscle layer of the abdominal wall – is not only not amenable to removal by liposuction, but also represents a significantly greater risk to their health and well-being.

    A six-year study reported that abdominal fat was associated with many abnormalities including in cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, and the risks of diabetes. This study was reported in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology . This is consistent with other reports suggesting that the location and type of body fat may be a more valuable clue to risk someone’s health than BMI.

    Around the same time, an article was published August 1 in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggesting that obesity alone may not be a guaranteed risk for heart disease. The study by Swedish investigators noted that other modifiable factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels may play an even more significant role.

    The bottom line is that in order to reduce their risk not only of a heart disease but also some cancers, an individual must not only pay attention to their weight but focus on controlling their blood pressure, their blood lipids and their blood sugar levels.

    Do you check your levels periodically? Is there a history of hypertension in your family? Do you think you should keep these factors under control in order to lead a healthy and productive life?

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