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5 Facts About the Relationship Between Obesity and Heart Disease – A Medical Perspective

Medical consultation by doctor:

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Anh Tuan, MD, PhD

Deputy Director
Digestive Surgery Institute


Obesity remains a challenging issue in the field of medicine, affecting not only the psychological well-being of individuals but also significantly impacting overall human health. Numerous dangerous cardiovascular diseases stem from obesity. Let’s delve into this issue with insights from Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, an expert in Gastroenterology and Obesity.


1. How is obesity linked to heart diseases?

Being obesity not only affects one’s appearance but is also a significant contributor to various health conditions. Obesity and heart diseases, in particular, share a close relationship, leading to the onset of many cardiovascular disorders.

Obesity 1

Obesity is a prevalent and perilous health condition in contemporary times


2. In what ways can obesity contribute to heart diseases?

Obesity can influence the cardiovascular system through two main pathways:

  • Direct impact: Excessive fat accumulation in the body can directly contribute to conditions such as enlarged atria, ventricles, and arterial plaque formation, leading directly to heart diseases.
  • Indirect impact: Increased body fat can indirectly affect the cardiovascular system by promoting conditions like sleep apnea, blood clotting, and exacerbating metabolic disorders, including lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.


3. How does obesity contribute to arterial plaque formation?

Obesity stimulates systemic inflammation, and reciprocally, inflammation can promote the production of fat in the body. Chronic inflammatory conditions, along with the accumulation of lower visceral fat, increase the risk of arterial plaque formation, leading to artery narrowing and potentially severe consequences like heart attacks, strokes, and other arterial obstructions.


4. Why can obesity lead to coronary artery diseases, a leading cause of mortality?

Chronic inflammation and fat accumulation in the lower abdominal region are closely linked to the presence, severity, and progression of coronary artery diseases. Normal fat tissue cells function similarly to brown fat cells, releasing adiponectin that helps reduce inflammation and calcification in coronary arteries and heart muscles. In obesity, reduced adiponectin secretion and increased release of pro-inflammatory adipokines facilitate the invasion of macrophages, destroying microvascular systems and activating fibrotic pathways, with coronary arteries being particularly vulnerable.

Obesity 2

Obesity makes the heart work harder

Persistently increased workload and stress on the heart due to obesity can lead to overworking and, if prolonged, result in heart failure. Fat distribution differs between genders, with males typically accumulating excess fat in the abdominal region and females in the hip and thigh areas. Cardiovascular experts recommend maintaining waist-to-hip ratios below 90% for males and 80% for females, emphasizing that addressing obesity can reduce the risk of heart diseases.


5. How to control obesity?

If unfortunately dealing with excess weight, there’s no need to despair. To reduce the risk of obesity-related heart diseases, consider the following measures:

Weight loss

Initiating weight loss is a crucial and impactful step in combating obesity and related heart diseases. A noticeable difference can be felt with a reduction of at least 5 kg, resulting in improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and inflammatory factors. Strict adherence to a medically guided and balanced diet, including ample fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and avoiding excessive consumption of sweets or fried foods, is essential.

Limit alcohol consumption

Both alcohol and beer act as stimulants, not only negatively impacting overall health but also increasing the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, it’s advisable to restrict alcohol and beer consumption.

Obesity 3

Limiting alcohol consumption contributes to a healthy heart

Regular exercise

Allocate at least 30-60 minutes daily to engage in suitable physical activities based on your health condition. Activities such as running, swimming, cycling, and aerobic exercises are particularly effective in burning excess body fat, increasing muscle mass, and promoting a well-balanced physique to safeguard a healthy heart.


Obesity not only affects aesthetics but is a root cause of various diseases, including heart diseases. Therefore, controlling weight and early screening for related health conditions are crucial actions, as the complications of these diseases pose significant risks to heart health.

Kiểm Duyệt Nội Dung

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