Obesity May Not Be a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease After All

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Researchers from the Umeå University in Sweden studied identical twin pairs to draw their conclusions
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Results suggest that decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease is more complicated than just losing weight. 

A study conducted by researchers from the Umeå University in Sweden challenges “conventional thinking” that obesity is a “major risk factor” for cardiovascular disease and death.

The scientists studied health data for 4,046 identical twin pairs, which were “specifically selected for their differences in BMI,” Food Navigator reported.

They found that risk of heart attack or death was not significantly higher for the heavier twins, “even in pairs with a BMI difference of 7.0 or more, and where the heavier twin had a BMI of 30.0 or more.” However, risk for diabetes was higher for the heavier twins.

Among the twins with the higher body mass index, there were 203 heart attacks (5 percent) and 550 deaths, and the twins with a lower BMI had a recorded 209 heart attacks (5.2 percent) and 633 deaths.

“[The study shows] that there’s a strong association between obesity and diabetes,” said Peter Nordström, a researcher at Umeå University. “This leads us to conclude that weight reduction interventions can be more effective against diabetes than when it comes to reducing the risk of heart attack and mortality.”

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