How Does Obesity Cause Heart Disease?

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How Obesity Strains the Heart

  • An obese person has more body mass due to having more body fat. This increased mass means the person has more blood flowing that is being pumped by the heart throughout his body. Therefore, the heart must work harder to pump blood throughout the body, which causes strain on the heart. This strain is often doubled when the obese person exerts himself and experiences a higher heart rate, as the blood flowing through the heart is too much for the heart to handle.

High Blood Pressure

  • However, what most often precipitates heart disease in an obese person is high blood pressure. An obese person has more body fat, which means more fatty molecules (such as cholesterol) are in his blood vessels. These fats constrict the blood vessels, which means that the heart experiences difficulty in pushing blood through the vessels. This constriction also worsens the strain on the heart, because the heart has to work overtime both to pump large amounts of blood and to push the blood through the blood vessels.

How Obesity Causes Heart Failure

  • Obesity can and often does cause heart failure because the obese person's heart is overworked. An obese person can experience heart failure through a heart attack, which is when the heart muscle dies due not not being supplied with oxygen because blood flow is blocked through a fat-clogged blood vessel. An obese person can also experience heart failure through cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating due to a sudden loss of function (likely caused by being overworked).

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