• Cardiovascular

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Obesity and heart disease

It's long been known that being overweight or obese can make a person more apt to develop conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. But experts at Mayo Clinic say obesity also can affect the heart in entirely independent ways.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, explains the resources available to help patients battling obesity and heart disease.

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Obesity can affect the heart in many ways. Not only does it put someone at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, but it also can make diagnosing and treating the condition more difficult.

That's why weight loss through lifestyle modification is often recommended. But it's not always that simple …

"… because they will feel symptoms when they exercise. And they may say, 'Well, if I have the symptoms, I would rather just not do the exercise.' When, in reality, they will need that — not just to lose weight, but also for their heart health," says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

Certain medications prescribed for their heart disease also may make it harder to lose pounds.

"Medications called beta blockers can actually make people gain weight," says Dr. Lopez-Jimenez.

He says it's important for patients to know that there are other options if standard weight loss programs don't work.

"There are other resources, like bariatric surgery and medications, that can actually effectively help patients to lose weight."

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