So it turns out that, while being overweight is not good for your heart, it doesn’t necessarily put a person at risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Instead, it is high blood pressure combined with obesity that is deadly:
* Overweight men and women who had high blood pressure faced double the risk for fatal heart attack or stroke of overweight people with normal blood pressure.
* Overweight women who had high blood pressure and diabetes were at more than four times the risk of cardiovascular death and overweight men with high blood pressure had triple the risk, compared to women and men with normal weight and normal blood pressure.
* Overweight people with diabetes and normal blood pressure weren’t at increased risk of cardiovascular death. Overweight men with high cholesterol were at a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular death, but that was not the case for women.
The best way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in overweight and obese people with high blood pressure is treatment that targets both blood pressure and weight, Benetos said.