article A new study linking obesity to the development of heart disease is drawing attention to the role that obesity plays in chronic disease.
The findings were published in the journal Obesity and the Developing Human Physiology, a journal published by the American Heart Association.
Researchers analyzed the genomes of nearly 4,500 people in a national health survey conducted between 1996 and 2008, and found that people who were obese at the time were at increased risk of developing heart disease.
A second study, published in 2012, also showed that obese people are more likely to develop heart disease later in life.
A third study, a follow-up study, found that a combination of obesity and genetics plays a role in heart disease, and that people with obesity and high blood pressure had a greater risk of heart attack and stroke than those with normal blood pressure.
The study, by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the National Institutes of Health, focused on people over 50 years of age.
It included data from more than 4,800 people, of which about 3,700 were African American.
The researchers found that those who were at higher risk of having heart disease were also more likely than others to be overweight.
The link between obesity and heart disease also was present in people who developed diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions later in their lives, according to the study.
The results are not completely surprising, said Dr. David Katz, an associate professor of medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“It’s not clear how much is due to genetics,” Katz said.
“But it is something we should be worried about.
This is one of the best known of the many risks of obesity.”
The researchers studied the genomes for genetic variants that increase the risk of obesity.
Researchers compared the genetic information of people who had a family history of heart problems and those with a normal family history.
They then used a computer algorithm to analyze the genetic variants associated with the development or progression of chronic diseases.
“There are hundreds of genes, so this is a large database,” said lead researcher Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.
“We have to use that data to determine if these genetic variants are associated with heart disease.”
In addition to genetic factors, researchers found an environmental factor, including how much time people spend walking, sitting, or lying down, as well as diet and physical activity.
The genetic association was present for about one-third of people with heart health problems, according a statement from the study, but it was not clear whether the same effect was seen in other groups of people.
The new findings raise questions about how obesity and diabetes can lead to the same underlying genetic condition, said Eisenberg.
“If we are going to take steps to prevent heart disease and stroke, we need to understand the genetic link and how we can prevent these diseases,” he said.