Blood Pressure and Morbid Obesity

Health Risk of Raised Blood Pressure From Morbid Obesity

Being obese more than doubles the risk of developing raised blood pressure (hypertension). Obesity research indicates that about 70 percent of obese men and women suffer from hypertension. For example: the prevalence of hypertension in adults who are not overweight (body mass index <25) is 14.9 percent for men and 15.2 percent for women. In contrast, the prevalence of raised blood pressure levels in adults who are obese (body mass index > 30) is 41.9 percent for men and 37.8 percent for women. The prevalence of hypertension increases with the degree of obesity.

Morbid Obesity Increases Risk of High Blood Pressure and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Morbid or severe clinical obesity is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease (inc. heart attacks and stroke) because it is associated with increased prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as raised blood pressure, low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Hypertension means having: average systolic blood pressure > 140 mm Hg, average diastolic > 90 mm Hg, or currently taking anti-hypertensive medication.

Clinical Study of Link Between Obesity and Blood Pressure

According to one major health study, the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure was studied in over 10,000 men and women, aged 20-59. BMI was significantly associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, independent of age, alcohol intake, tobacco useage, sodium and potassium excretion.

Diagnosis/Incidence of High Blood Pressure Among Obese

In the Framingham Offspring Study, nearly 80 percent of cases of raised blood pressure in men and 64 percent in women were attributable to obesity.


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