Young and overweight? A greater risk for future heart failure
The time in one’s life at which an individual chooses to lose weight may have more of an effect on their risk of having a heart attack than previously thought. Research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has found that those who don’t adopt a healthy lifestyle early, and recover from overweight, are at a far higher risk of developing heart problems, compared to those who have already adapted their habits. The study analysed data from 26,000 people over 30 years and found that the most recent BMI measurement corresponded to the risk of having a heart attack, however the person’s average BMI over a 30-year period was strongly related to the risk of heart failure.
The researchers noticed that those with a higher BMI early in life were at the greatest risk of developing heart failure. They adjusted for a variety of personal and lifestyle factors, and concluded that obesity may weaken the heart, and obesity at a young age predisposes it to failure. A secondary analysis within the study found that maintaining a stable weight over a period of time lowered people’s risk of future heart failure, highlighting the dangers of yo-yo dieting.