Study Shows That Obesity Can Make Diagnosing Heart Diseases Difficult

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A study has found that obesity could make it more difficult to detect heart diseases. Many people know that obesity could increase the risk of heart disease. However, they need to be made aware of how it alters diagnostic tests for heart diseases, making them harder to treat.

Obesity can alter test results

According to Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a lead study author, too much fat acts as a filter and can alter the results leading to an over or under-diagnosis. The cardiology tests that obesity affects include the echocardiogram, MRI, CT scan, and ECG.

This study is essential as obesity is still one of the leading causes of mortality in the U.S. Procedures such as stent placement which involves opening narrow arteries or heart surgery, are significantly more complex in obese patients. Furthermore, these procedures have higher risks, like wound infection, in these patients.

Doctors often have to tailor medication to make them more suitable for obese patients. For instance, beta-blockers could cause weight gain in patients; thus, doctors may need other alternatives for obese patients to prevent this.

Losing weight in obese patients is a challenge

Dr. Lopez adds that obesity is a crucial matter concerning heart disease. Health workers should address obesity, and patients should know their doctors could help them lose weight. The most vital step in helping a patient lose weight is to find the appropriate therapy.

Obese patients with heart diseases could have a more challenging time losing weight. These patients experience symptoms like shortness of breath that can make it impossible to exercise. As a result, the patient might be unable to commit to losing weight despite them wanting to. Helping these patients often requires a dietitian and a therapist. In more severe cases or situations where the patient has failed to lose weight despite numerous attempts, medication for weight loss and bariatric surgery are necessary.

The Mayo Clinic has begun a multidisciplinary program to help people with obesity and improve the quality of their lives. The program aims to give patients hope so they don’t feel defeated while they try to lose weight. This program could reduce the prevalence of heart disease in the country.

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