Obesity rates could counter improvements in heart disease

RISING obesity could undo the good work of two decades in reducing heart disease, UK researchers warn. A study of 10,000 public servants showed a 74% reduction over 20 years in overall risk of myocardial infarction, due to reduced cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking. Rising obesity curbed the improvement by 11%, prompting a warning that rising BMI could reverse the decline. 

However, Deakin University obesity expert Professor Boyd Swinburn said that although this was possible, “my bet would be… with increasing medical technology we can continue to ‘muscle’ ongoing improvements”.

Eur Heart J 2011, online 9 June