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Cholesterol and high blood pressure treatments may benefit the obese

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who are overweight and at risk for becoming obese may want to consider seeking a blood pressure and cholesterol test to determine the condition of their heart, as a new study has found that obese people tend to display more of the common risk factors associated with heart disease.

Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia found a chain reaction in which excess fat causes the body to retain more sodium. This build-up of salt causes inflammation which can elevate blood pressure and increase other risk factors for heart disease.

Yanbin Dong, who led the investigation, said that it is well known that obese individuals face more heart health problems. However, many of the specific reasons for this are unknown. He expressed his hope that the new knowledge would lead to more effective cholesterol and hypertension treatments.

"It's well established that obesity increases inflammation, salt sensitivity and high blood pressure," said Dong. "But there were dots that needed connecting."

A number of cholesterol-lowering drugs on the market - such as statins - work in part by blocking salt absorption, but they are infrequently prescribed to obese patients. The study noted that they could benefit overweight individuals.

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