A new study published in the European Heart Journal has found that the "obesity paradox," which suggests that people who are overweight or obese are less likely to end up in the hospital or die than people of normal weight if they have heart failure, may not be true. The study provides valuable insights into the relationship between obesity, body fat, and heart failure outcomes.
The new study used different ways of measuring patients' size and proportions, including BMI, waist-to-height, and waist-to-hip ratios. The researchers also adjusted patient outcomes to consider other factors, including natriuretic peptides - hormones secreted in the blood when the heart is under pressure. The findings revealed that more body fat was associated with a greater risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure.
Results!.. The study's results indicate that measuring the ratio of the waist to the height of patients, rather than looking at their BMI, shows that the supposed survival advantage for people with a BMI of 25kg/m2 or more disappears. This suggests that indices that don't include weight, such as waist-to-height ratio, have clarified the true relationship between body fat and patient outcomes.
These findings are significant because they challenge the notion that being overweight or obese can benefit individuals with heart failure. In fact, the study suggests that excess body fat is associated with worse outcomes. This is an important message for healthcare professionals and individuals with heart failure, as it underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and reducing excess body fat.
The study also highlights the importance of using different measures to assess body size and proportions. While BMI is commonly used to determine if an individual is overweight or obese, it may not be the most accurate measure. Other indices, such as the waist-to-height ratio, may provide a more comprehensive view of an individual's health status.
In conclusion, the new study challenges the "obesity paradox" in heart failure and provides valuable insights into the relationship between obesity, body fat, and patient outcomes. It highlights the importance of using different measures to assess body size and proportions and underscores the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and reducing excess body fat. These findings have significant implications for the prevention and management of heart failure and for public health policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of obesity.