Obesity and sedentary lifestyle

August 15, 2011

Obesity is a risk factor for coronary artery disease and one particular type of obesity is a particular indicator of risk in women. This is the so-termed “male fat pattern” of weight distribution which is characterized by weight that is mostly distributed around the trunk. A good measure of this is the waist-to-hip ratio with higher ratio correlated with increased risk for coronary artery disease (e.g., waist 46 in. and hip 38 in. ratio 1.2:1). This type of obesity appears to be closely linked to the abnormal lipid profile seen in the metabolic syndrome.

Closely related, sedentary lifestyle has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Panel on Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health recommends that a person accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on a daily basis. The Nurses’ Health Study, initiated in 1976, prospectively followed 121,700 female nurses. A study of 72,488 patients from this cohort who did not have cardiovascular disease, aged 40-65, showed interesting results with regard to exercise. There was an inverse association between physical activity and the risk of coronary artery disease. Women who walked the equivalent of three or more hours per week at a brisk pace had a lower risk when compared to women who walked infrequently. This reduction was similar in women who reported regular, vigorous exercise, suggesting that both types of activities significantly reduce the risk of coronary events.

SEE ALSO: Acute myocardial infarction, Cardiovascular disease, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Exercise, Hormone replacement therapy, Hypertension, Nutrition, Smoking

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Category: Coronary Risk Factor