Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

Healthy Woman - Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease

Facts about obesity and cardiovascular disease:

More than 65 percent (about 129 million people) of the US population is overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Being obese increases the risk for many diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

What is considered obese?

Obesity can be determined based on three key measurements, according to NHLBI:

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

According to the American Heart Association, the major risk factors for heart disease are:

Obviously, some of these risk factors, such as age, gender, heredity, or diabetes, cannot be changed. However, it is possible to make lifestyle modifications which may decrease the risk of factors such as smoking, elevated blood cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, physical inactivity, or obesity.

Healthy tips for losing weight:

Successful weight loss requires a long-term weight management program that is realistic, according to the NHLBI Obesity Education Initiative. To help lose weight and/or maintain a healthy weight, consider the following:

Facts about cholesterol and obesity:

The link between high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (often referred to as the "bad" cholesterol) in the blood and increased risk of coronary heart disease has been demonstrated many times. Although normal-weight people can have high LDL cholesterol levels, people who are overweight tend to have higher LDL cholesterol levels than people who are not overweight. According to the NHLBI, blood cholesterol levels are affected by:

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