Heart specialists have uncovered what is believed to be the first wide-scale evidence linking severe obesity to prolonged inflammation of heart tissue. The Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) demonstrates yet one more reason for the estimated 72 million obese American adults to be concerned about their health.
Researchers conducted tests and tracked the development of heart failure in an ethnically diverse group of nearly 7,000 men and women. On average, obese participants were found to have higher blood levels of interleukin 6, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, which are all immune system proteins involved in inflammation.
A near doubling of average interleukin 6 levels alone accounted for an 84 percent greater risk of developing heart failure in the study population. Similarly, a near tripling of average levels of C-reactive protein in obese study participants increased the chance of heart failure by 36 percent.
* Science Daily May 1, 2008