Obesity & Heart Risk
5% increase in Heart Failure Risk per Body Mass Index Unit
According to the ongoing US Framingham Heart Study, the risk of heart failure goes up along with one’s weight.
Where are you on this risk spectrum? You first must know your body mass index or BMI. It’s a rough way to know how close to normal your weight is for your height. To calculate BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters.
A BMI score of 18-24.9 is normal. A score of 25-29.9 means you’re overweight. And if your BMI hits 30, you’re officially obese. According to US Framingham Heart Study findings, for every unit increase in BMI there is a 5% increase in risk of heart failure. Whether you go from 24 to 25 or from 34 to 35, you’re still increasing your risk.
By the time a person becomes obese, that increase is 200% – double the heart-failure risk for a person of normal weight. For women, but not for men, crossing into the “overweight” category increases heart failure risk by 50%.