Cardiologists have long known that obesity increases the risk of death from
heart failure, but a new study shows that being even slightly overweight - as
little as four pounds over - also increases the risk substantially.
A 15-yeat study on nearly 6,000 people show that being
overweight alone is responsible for 11% of cases of heart failure in men and 14%
of cases in women, a team from the Boston University School of Medicine,
reported on 8-01-2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
An estimated 61% adults, 13% young children, and 14%
adolescents are now overweight. People are considered normal if their BMI is
less than 25, overweight if it is from 25 to 29.9 and obese if it is 30 and
The team concluded that, independent of all other
factors, each 1-point increase above 25 in BMI caused a 5% increase in risk for
men and a 7% increase for women. The risk of heart failure was 34% higher in
those who were overweight and 68% in those who were obese.