Obese More Likely to Survive Heart Attack
> 7/10/2007 1:47:37 PM

Although being obese is one of the contributing factors of heart disease, some scientists now say that the extra weight can actually help obese people survive heart attacks better than their thinner counterparts. Based on a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, which followed 16,000 people in 37 countries, researchers found that the mortality rate for normal weight patients (4.3%) was almost double that of obese patients (2.2%).�That study, performed at Duke University, was confirmed recently by a study from the European Heart Journal.

Baffled researchers hypothesize that differences in weight distribution and physiological differences in the hearts of heavier people could offer some clues into this phenomena. They also theorize that heavier people can increase their survival rates following a heart attack by loosing a lot of weight and making other lifestyle changes, an option not open to thinner patients. However, all experts agree the statistics are not an invitation for anyone to abandon or make poor dietary choices.

Dr. Gerald Fletcher, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Florida and a spokesman for the American Heart Association, was quoted by the AP as saying:

"We really don't want people to think that they should put on a bit of weight to have a better chance with their bypass surgery. These results do not mean it's okay to be fat. Being fat is still dangerous to your health for lots of other reasons".

Although some experts stress the importance of understanding what is causing this "fat-thin" paradox, so better treatment plans can be implemented, obese patients are warned not to fall into a zone of complacency. With a laundry list of obesity related aliments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer, the risk factors related to obesity greatly outnumber the aforementioned potential benefits.

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