Being overweight can have a number of negative effects on your body and health. Risks associated with obesity have been a hot topic of discussion, particularly in the last decade. A Body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher indicates obesity in adults. It has long been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, and body pain and mobility issues, to name a few.

Take note that many diseases associated with being overweight typically affect the heart. According to a study, adults with obesity between the ages of 40 and 59 are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than their normal-weight peers. The study also claims that people who are obese have a shorter lifespan and are at a much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease at a younger age.

Risks Associated with Obesity

Although it may appear to be straightforward, the connection between heart disease and obesity is more complicated than it appears. Being overweight increases your risk of developing a variety of other risk factors for heart disease. It triggers inflammatory processes that can be extremely harmful to your cardiovascular system, as well as structural or functional deviations in the heart itself.

Here are a few of the well-known health risks linked to being overweight.

Heart Disease Risk Factors

You are more likely to develop other heart disease risk factors if you are obese. These include abnormal cholesterol levels, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, all of which increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. Being overweight also raises the threat of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of cardiovascular disease risk factors that include high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides, high blood sugar levels, and low levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. Aside from these risk factors, obesity-induced high blood pressure aggravates plaque in the arteries, making it vulnerable to rupture and triggering a heart attack.

Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea is an issue on its own as it obstructs you from getting a night’s sleep. When combined with obesity, it becomes a huge risk factor for developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Being overweight and having mild sleep apnoea increases your chances of developing metabolic syndrome, hypertension, pre-diabetes, and cholesterol abnormalities.

Hidden Inflammation

Obesity triggers inflammation and the release of inflammatory factors, which increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis and causes plaque build-up in the artery walls. Obesity also causes the release of substances in the blood that can make plaque rupture, resulting in heart attacks.

Heart Function

Obesity may cause a stroke in addition to increasing the risk of developing atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia, which is a rapid irregular heartbeat of the upper chambers. This arrhythmia can cause blood clots to form, which can lead to stroke, heart failure, or other heart-related complications. Moreover, being overweight can also lead to enlargement of the heart, often caused by untreated hypertension.

Healthy Body, Healthy Heart

It is true that the bigger your body is, the harder your heart has to work to do its job. Being overweight puts your heart under constant strain, especially during the relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle, also known as the diastole. Extra stress over a long period can lead to the development of heart failure symptoms. Making the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes can help prevent this and make your body healthier. Effective weight management can help you avoid overworking your heart, thereby extending your lifespan.