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CVD risk

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Excess Weight Leads to a Shorter Life

The "obesity paradox" may not be a real benefit.

Taking a life-course perspective, researchers have found obesity results in a shorter lifespan and an increased risk of cardiovascular (CVD) morbidity and mortality compared with those with a normal BMI (weight). Overweight men and women of all ages developed CVD at a younger age and spent more years living with it, despite not living as long.

PositiveTip: Maintaining a healthy BMI significantly improves quality of life, functional capacity, and decreases disability.

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Myth: Obese but Healthy

Obesity without other metabolic problems still tied to CVD risk!

Are you obese without hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia? Robust research challenges the concept that metabolically healthy obese people have nothing to worry about. A study of more than 3.5 million people conducted between 1995-2015 found that "healthy" obese people are significantly more likely than normal-weight people to develop  coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke.

PositiveTip: Attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is essential to minimizing cardiovascular risks.

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CVD Risk and Calcium Intake

Dietary and supplemental calcium intake below 2500 mg daily OK.

Inconsistent evidence has suggested there might be an association between calcium supplementation and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. A multi-center, meta-analysis of 4 randomized trials and 27 observational studies has found moderate-quality evidence suggesting that calcium intake (with or without Vitamin D) from food or supplements does not raise the risk of CVD in healthy adults.

PositiveTip: Dietary sources of calcium are preferred over supplemental calcium, and every person needs an adequate intake. Are you getting enough?

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A Healthy Diet in Early Adulthood Yields Big Dividends Later

What you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat when you are older!

Young adults who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day were found to have healthier hearts 20 years later. Those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 26% less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries compared to those who ate the least.

PositiveTip: Do not wait until you are older to begin eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables!

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Which Measure Best Predicts Cardiovascular Risk?

Where you carry the fat is less important than being overweight in general.

Are "apple-shaped" bodies, or "pear-shaped" bodies at greater risk for cardiovascular disease? Turns out that simply being overweight, whatever the shape, increases risks for heart disease. Researchers looked at data from a very large study of 221,934 people and found that body-mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference all equally predicted the 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease when added to blood pressure, diabetes history and lipid measurements. 

PositiveTip: Losing extra weight, no matter how or where you carry it, is important for your health.