Excess belly fat common in those with high heart risk

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EXCESS waist fat is common in many people with a high risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a recent European study.
The findings featured recently at the World Congress of Cardiology & Cardiovascular Health in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
They revealed that nearly two-thirds of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease had excess abdominal fat.
The results also showed that:Only 47 percent of those taking drugs to reduce high blood pressure were achieving a target of under 140/90 millimeters of mercury, or under 140/85 for those who reported having diabetes.
Among individuals using lipid-lowering medication, only 43 percent had reached the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol target of under 2.5 millimoles per liter, Health news reported.
Many who were not in receipt of treatment for high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol had those conditions.Only 65 percent of individuals receiving treatment for type 2 diabetes had attained the target blood sugar of under 7.0 percent glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
“The survey,” says Kornelia Kotseva, chair of the EUROASPIRE Steering Committee and a professor at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, “shows that large proportions of individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease have unhealthy lifestyle habits and uncontrolled blood pressure, lipids, and diabetes.”
The recent study focuses on “apparently healthy individuals in primary care at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including those with diabetes.” Altogether, 78 primary care practices from 16, mainly European, countries took part in the research, which took place during 2017–2018.
They recruited individuals who were under 80 years of age and had no history of coronary artery disease or other conditions arising from atherosclerosis.
However, assessments had shown that they were at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease due to one or more of the following: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
The researchers used medical records to identify those eligible for the study and invited them for an interview and clinical exam. The interviewers asked questions about diet, exercise, smoking, and other lifestyle factors.
Prof. Kotseva urges primary care practitioners to be proactive about looking for cardiovascular risk factors. They need to probe beyond the risk factors that they are already aware of and “always investigate smoking, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes,” she argues.

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