Obese and overweight people who lower their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels could cut their risk of heart disease and stroke by more than half, according to a new study published in The Lancet.
Researchers analyzed nearly 100 studies that involved more than 1.8 million people worldwide. They concluded that high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels contributed to about 50 percent of overweight and obese people’s increased risk of heart disease and 75 percent of their increased risk of stroke.
Obesity rates have almost doubled worldwide in the past 35 years affecting more than 1.4 billion adults aged 20 and older. Obesity and being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer. About 3.4 million people around the world die each year due to complications associated with excess weight.
However, lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels often requires medication, which can carry side effects.
For example, statin medications such as the widely prescribed Lipitor can be effective at lowering cholesterol levels. But the drugs can carry serious side effects including muscle injury and liver damage. More recent studies have shown that Lipitor can increase blood sugar levels, which contributes to type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, and dementia.
Source: US News