The relationship of obesity and cardiovascular disease

Jagriti Jhamb, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Aim. To review published literature on the relationship of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Methods. To look at all the studies published on the topic from 2005. Results. In the studies done prior to 2011, body mass index and in particular waist to hip ratio (51.57) was found to be associated with coronary heart disease. But, this relationship was challenged by the latest Lancet 2011meta-analysis 1 which concluded that singly or in combination, body-mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio did not importantly improve prediction of first-onset cardiovascular disease when additional information exists on blood pressure, history of diabetes, and cholesterol measures were available. Furthermore, they also found long-term reproducibility of BMI to be superior to that of waist-to-hip ratio (or waist circumference). Interestingly, body mass index in later childhood and early adult life showed positive association with coronary heart disease later in life 2. In US female health professionals 3 increasing body mass index was found to be associated with increased coronary heart disease risk. Overall 4, physical activity was found to be independently associated with fewer risk factors, less coronary artery disease, and fewer adverse events in women. Finally, obesity was found to be associated with increased overall cardiovascular mortality and coronary heart disease mortality 5. Conclusions. There is insufficient data to draw guidelines regarding parameters of obesity affecting cardiovascular disease. But there is data to support that lower body mass index would lead to decreased cardiovascular disease mortality. And physical activity has a direct association with less coronary artery disease in women.

Subject Area

Endocrinology|Nutrition|Public health

Recommended Citation

Jhamb, Jagriti, "The relationship of obesity and cardiovascular disease" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1506926.