NEW YORK: The longer a person spends being obese, the greater the risk of “silent” heart damage, according to a study, which says that “the number of years of overweight or obesity can” add up “to the risk.
The findings showed that for every 10 years a person spends being obese, the risk of having high levels of troponin, a protein related to heart damage, increased 1.25 times, even when the risk of heart disease is considered due to high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney disease
Troponin is released when the heart muscle has been damaged. The more damage there is to the heart, the greater the amount of troponin in the blood.
Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is important in keeping the heart healthy and minimizing damage as people age, the researchers said.
“We are discovering that the weight of people from the age of 25 is related to the risk of more or less damage to the heart, measured by troponin protein levels later in life, which underscores the importance of controlling the long-term weight to reduce the risk of heart disease, “said Chiadi Ndumele, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University.
“The study suggests that even in the absence of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disease, the number of years that obesity or overweight occurs contributes to a greater chance of heart damage,” added Ndumele.
For the study, which appears in the journal Clinical Chemistry, the team examined 9,062 participants, four times over a period of 10-11 years.
Those who increased their body mass index (BMI) to the range of overweight and obesity at the fourth visit were 1.5 times more likely to have high troponin levels of at least 14 nanograms per liter, indicating heart damage.
On average, every 100 additional years of BMI increased the likelihood, or risk, of increasing troponin by 21 percent, said Ndumele.