Being overweight may cause higher blood pressure and thicken heart muscle

Efforts to achieve or maintain a normal weight from a young age may help to prevent the development of heart disease later in life.


A new research by the American Heart Association suggests that even as a young adult, being overweight may change heart structure and function as well. It may lead to higher blood pressure.

The study explores if a higher body mass index (BMI) may cause adverse effects on heart functions. Scientists triangulated discoveries from three unique kinds of genetic investigation to reveal evidence that BMI causes particular contrasts in cardiovascular estimations.

To conduct the study, scientists gathered the data from 17-year-olds and 21-year-olds who have participated in the ongoing Children of the 90s study. They found that overweight causes higher systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure. In addition, it also leads to enlargement of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber.

Kaitlin H. Wade, B.Sc., Ph.D., lead author of the study said, “Our results support efforts to reduce body mass index to within a normal, healthy range from a young age to prevent later heart disease.”

“Thickening of vessel walls is widely considered to be the first sign of atherosclerosis, a disease in which fatty plaques build up within the arteries and lead to heart disease. However, our findings suggest that higher BMIs cause changes in the heart structure of the young that may precede changes in blood vessels.”

“At a population level, this provides a natural experiment analogous to a randomized trial where we can compare differences in an outcome (such as heart structure and function) with differences in BMI, without the relationship being skewed by other lifestyle and behavioral factors.”

Now, scientists are planning to examine the connection between higher BMI and other conceivable infection instruments, for example, the wealth and an assorted variety of organisms living in the gut. They additionally want to investigate the connection amongst BMI and heart structure and capacity in a populace now in their 70s.

The research is published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.