Being overweight or obese are risk factors for heart attack and heart disease
even if people don't have metabolic syndrome, Danish researchers say.
Dr. Borge G. Nordestgaard, chief physician in clinical biochemistry at
Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said metabolic syndrome is a cluster
of cardiovascular risk factors, which includes high blood pressure, high
cholesterol and high blood sugar.
Nordestgaard and colleagues investigated data from 71,527 participants in a
general population study and during nearly four years of follow-up, they
identified 634 cases of heart attacks and 1,781 cases of heart disease.
Relative to people with normal weight, the hazards of heart attack were
increased with overweight and obesity and were statistically equivalent whether
or not patients had metabolic syndrome.
"These findings suggest that overweight and obesity are risk factors for heart
attack and heart disease regardless of the presence or absence of metabolic
syndrome and that metabolic syndrome is no more valuable than body mass index in
identifying individuals at risk," the researchers concluded.
The findings were published in the journal Internal Medicine.