According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, with approximately 610,000 heart disease related deaths in the United States every year — that’s one in every four deaths.
The medical community is becoming increasingly aware of the connection between heart disease and obesity, with recent studies showing that obesity can increase a person’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation by as much as 40 percent.
Depending on the type and severity, common ways of treating heart disease can be costly, uncomfortable, and impact quality of life. People with heart disease are often prescribed medications that must be taken for the rest of their lives, with missed doses being very dangerous. Others may need surgery. By 2030, annual direct medical costs associated with cardiovascular diseases are projected to rise to more than $818 billion, while lost productivity costs could exceed $275 billion.
However, a recent study shows that there may be a less costly option that promises a more promising long-term solution to heart disease. Recently published Australian research in the peer-reviewed journal Europace shows for the first time that obese people who are suffering from atrial fibrillation can actually reduce or reverse the effects of the condition by losing weight. In fact, researchers found that a 10 percent loss in weight can reverse the progression of the disease.
“This is the first time that evidence has been found that if people who are obese and are suffering from atrial fibrillation the disease can be alleviated by losing weight and treating lifestyle factors,” says lead author Melissa Middeldorp, PhD researcher from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders.
In addition to reversing the progression of the disease, the study showed some other incredible findings. People in the study who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight:
• Experienced fewer symptoms
• Required less treatment
• Had better outcomes
• Stopped experiencing atrial fibrillation entirely
(Click here to download our free white paper “Obesity Treatment for Patients with Cardiovascular Disease.”)
With heart disease being as prevalent as it is, most health care providers are sure to be seeing many overweight patients in their primary care clinics who are either suffering from heart disease or at risk for developing it. Early treatment, including treatment for risk factors like obesity, is crucial to getting it under control before it becomes a costly and life-threatening problem.
Start the conversation about obesity with your patients today. Don’t know how? Robard Corporation, a leader in the weight management industry from more than 40 years, has many resources that can help, including a free video series, “How to Speak with Patients about Obesity.” To learn more, contact us. We can help you get an obesity treatment program started in three easy steps!
Sources: Science Daily; CDC Foundation; Center for Disease Control
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation