How Does Weight Affect Your Heart Health?

by Linda DeGroot
by Linda DeGroot

Co-Founder at 30/10 Weight Loss for Life

The Association Between Your Weight and Your Heart

Happy National Heart Health Month! Here at 30/10 we love healthy hearts and want to help support your heart health as much as we can through the power of healthy eating, exercise, and weight management. Part of having a healthy heart is being at a healthy weight. Here are some ways that obesity can affect your heart health.

“Public health experts deem heart failure–a condition in which the heart muscle doesn’t beat efficiently– a looming epidemic. The disease has been on a steady rise and is expected to affect one in five adults by 2030” (1) Currently four in ten adults are obese and three in ten adults are overweight in the United States. (2) Researchers are warning about the dangers associated with heart disease risk for people that are overweight or obese.

A major pre-indicator of heart disease is the levels of troponin found in the body. Troponin is a protein that is found in muscle tissue and the cardiac version of troponin (Troponin T) usually stays in the heart muscle. However, when heart muscle is injured, those cells release troponin into the bloodstream. Causes of damage to heart muscle cells include congestive heart failure and heart attack.

In a study completed by Hopkins researchers of 9,500 heart disease-free adults between 53-73 years old, they found elevated troponin levels in those with a BMI higher than 35 (severely obese). Researchers monitored the participants for 12 years and in that time, 869 of them developed heart failure. The combination of severe obesity and detectable levels of troponin in those individuals indicated a 9x higher risk  for heart attack than those who were not obese. Additionally, they found that the people who were the most obese had the highest levels of Troponin T in their bloodstream. Researchers concluded that the higher BMI and obesity level someone had, the higher their troponin levels were indicating a higher risk for heart disease and heart attack. In fact, they found that for every 5 point increase in BMI, risk for heart disease for those individuals rose by 32%. (1)

So What Can You Do?

Lose Weight– scientists find that any amount of weight loss helps reduce your risk! The less mass you have, the less blood and fluids your body needs to function which puts less of a strain on your heart. 

Eat Healthy– a diet high in processed foods and sugars leads to weight gain and provides little to no nutritional value. Focus on whole foods with a diet high in healthy proteins, fats, and fresh produce. 

Exercise– the link between regular exercise and reduced heart disease risk has been proven time and time again. Those who participate in the minimum amount of recommended moderately intense exercise (~300 minutes/week) have on average a 22-25% reduction in heart disease risk. 

Take the first steps of improving your heart health by making changes to your eating habits, exercising regularly, and keeping your weight at a healthy level. If you find you need help in losing weight and keeping it off, contact us at 855-YES-3010.

Sources:

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_obesity_fuels_silent_heart_damage
  2. https://www.tfah.org/report-details/state-of-obesity-2022/#:~:text=Nationally%2C%2041.9%20percent%20of%20adults,obesity%20rate%20of%2045.6%20percent.
  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/weight-a-silent-heart-risk
  1. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/metabolic-and-bariatric-surgery-blog/2019/march/obesity-and-heart-disease
  1. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2022/07/25/getting-more-exercise-than-guidelines-suggest-may-further-lower-death-risk

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