If you consider yourself healthy despite being fat, high blood pressure and a thickened heart muscle may be lurking around the corner – EVEN if you have normal blood pressure and blood sugar now.
Obese people often hear, “Just you wait, you’ll pay the price in the years to come.”
However, new research shows that being young doesn’t always protect very heavy people from the dangers of obesity.
In young adults, overweight may still cause high blood pressure and a thickened heart muscle.
A thickened back or arm muscle is always good news, as a result of strength training or hard physical work.
But heart muscle is not like skeletal muscle. It’s very bad news when it thickens. When cardiac muscle thickens, this paves the way for heart disease down the road.
The study appears in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.
The study, led by Kaitlin H. Wade, PhD, is the first to investigate the effects of high body mass index (BMI) in young adults.
Data on several thousand healthy people, ages 17 and 21, was collected.
Fat and Healthy NOW,
Poor Health Later?
If your blood work is currently normal and your blood pressure is normal today, this is but a snapshot in time.
Normal blood sugar and BP do not tell doctors whether or not your heart muscle is thicker than it should be. Nor will low cholesterol show this.
The researchers determined that excess body fat raised blood pressure and enlarged the heart’s left ventricle.
Just because thin people can have high blood pressure and an enlarged left ventricle doesn’t mean that these problems can’t be caused by obesity – or made easier to develop by obesity.
“Thickening of vessel walls is widely considered to be the first sign of atherosclerosis,” says Dr. Wade in the paper.
“However, our findings suggest that higher BMIs cause changes in the heart structure of the young that may precede changes in blood vessels,” continues Dr. Wade.
Having good health isn’t just about the here and now, but about how to preserve it for many years to come.