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Obesity: The Silent Time Bomb

I've written often here and in my twice-weekly newsletter about the crippling effects obesity can have on your health:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

But what about the obese people you know -- they could be friends or family members -- who always seem to be in relatively good health? An Australian study warns even those "healthy" obese people could be sustaining silent heart damage that could set the table for serious problems down the road.

Using advanced ultrasound technology, researchers found the blood-pumping left ventricle of severely obese patients had a significantly weakened ability to contract and expand. And, people who were smaller but still obese still sustained smaller but still significant weaknesses in blood-pumping ability were found.

Moreover, these first signs of future heart failure were detected in obese patients who had no existing heart disease and were free of high blood pressure and diabetes, two major risk factors for heart failure. They also had a normal ejection fraction, the conventional measure of blood-pumping ability.

This silent damage to the body certainly doesn't surprise me, particularly when conventional physicians don't bother telling their own obese patients to lose weight.

The good news is that overweight and obesity are nearly 100 percent preventable and if you fall into this category, you can help yourself by:

Forbes November 1, 2004

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