Phillip Minton M.D.

The Obesity Paradox

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

A recent study suggests that obese patients respond better to heart disease treatment than do the non-obese. This is a paradox as it is the opposite to what we might have expected.

Since obesity is a proven risk factor for heart disease, we would have supposed that the obese would respond less well to treatment than the non-obese. This study suggests that this expectation is false.

What could explain the paradox? In my view, we need to explore more fully the possibility that cardiovascular disease may have various sub-groupings, based on the cause and genetic factors. In other words, cardiovascular disease that looks the same when viewed from a superficial perspective may actually be subtly different. One person’s atheroma may not be the same, or respond the same to treatment, as another persons does.

Could it be that obesity as a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease causes a subtype of the disease that responds better to therapy than, say cv disease whose main promoting factor was heavy cigarette smoking? Time will tell.


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