Cardiologists have long known that obesity increases the risk of death from heart failure, but a new study shows that being even slightly overweight -- as few as four pounds over -- also increases the risk substantially.
That increased risk, furthermore, arises from being overweight itself rather than from fat's effect on hypertension and diabetes. A 15-year study on nearly 6,000 people shows that being overweight alone is responsible for 11 percent of cases of heart failure in men and 14 percent of cases in women, a team from the Boston University School of Medicine reports in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
An estimated 61 percent of adults in this country are considered overweight.
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