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A hard-line approach to cardiovascular risks in diabetes

September 03, 2017

"Obesity is skyrocketing in America and if this continues, we may see an unfortunate reversal to what has been a steady increase in life expectancy," says Dr. Lavie. "We need more research: first to prevent obesity in the first place; second, to intervene early enough so that patients who are overweight or obese won't develop heart disease; and then to better understand why these patients have a better prognosis once they have heart disease. Perhaps this information could lead to benefits for all patients, including patients with heart disease who aren't overweight or obese."

According to authors, obesity may soon overtake tobacco use as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States if current trends continue. Nearly 7 out of 10 adults are classified as overweight or obese. In adults, overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 and obesity as BMI =30 kg/m2. Other indices that have been used less commonly, but possibly with more predictive power include body fatness, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and weight-to-height ratio.

"Clinicians should emphasize to patients the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as benefits that can be obtained from restricting their intake of calories and getting regular exercise of 30 to 40 minutes on most, if not all, days," said Dr. Lavie.

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