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Can Exercise Alone Prevent Heart Disease for Overweight?

Posted Jul 07 2009 5:26pm
When one is overweight or obese, the risk of developing many health problems also raises. These include diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart disease, etc. Some health experts even link certain types of cancer to obesity.

Research shows that fat cells produce chemicals that can speed up hardening of the arteries and increase inflammation thus harming blood vessels. Meanwhile, physical activity can make for healthier blood vessels and reduce the risk of blood clots.

However, researchers from Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that exercise would not reduce the risk of heart disease for those who are overweight or obese unless they slim down too. The findings, which were published on April 28, 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, argued that even high quantities of physical activity are highly impossible to reverse the risk of coronary heart disease in overweight or obese women unless they also lose weight.

Basing on information from a study of nearly 39,000 women that began in 1992, the study traced a number of health issues. In the study, 34 percent of the women were physically activity based on government guidelines, 31 percent were overweight and 18 percent were obese.

The researchers found that 948 women were diagnosed with heart disease. Those active women with normal weight had the lowest risk but those with normal weight and not active at all had a slightly higher risk of developing heart disease. The risk rises for those active women who were either overweight or obese. People with the highest risk of getting heart disease are those who were overweight or obese and physically inactive.

In conclusion, the researchers stressed that it is important to counseling all women to participate in increasing amounts of regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight in order to lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
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