Research: Exercise has an impact on the health of obese patients with cardiovascular disease 

Research - Boggle LettersResearch - Boggle Letters

Exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease in obese patients.  

Shoe and Dumbells

Shoe and Dumbells

I recently read an article and study that claimed that exercise might outweigh the impact of being overweight in those at risk or have heart disease[1].   I do not doubt that exercise reduces the risk of heart disease in those that have a risk, but I am suspect where it might outweigh the risk of being obese.  What this statement means is that there is a benefit of being active that overrides the risk of being obese.  I personally doubt this statement, but it has peaked my interest.  

Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  Physical activity might reduce the risk associated with overweight and obesity.  Physical activity definitely has its benefits, and I am certain that it reduces your risk of multiple diseases.  It may outweigh the impact of overweight and obesity on cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and elderly people, according to new research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology[2].  The study in this journal was an observational study. The subjects included 5,000 people aged 55 years and older who were followed-up for 15 years.  The subjects were classified as having high or low physical activity.  The subjects were categorized as having high or low physical activity to form six categories. The researchers assessed the association of the six categories with CVD risk using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for confounders.  Overweight and obese participants with high physical activity did not show a higher coronary vascular event risk than those that exercised less.

The bottom line: Our findings suggest that the beneficial impact of physical activity on coronary vascular disease might outweigh the negative impact of body mass index among middle-aged and elderly people. I would argue that exercise lowers the risk as long as the subject does not have a significant disease at the time of exercise.  This emphasizes the importance of physical activity for everyone across all body mass indices.  Guidelines recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate to strenuous exercise.  I would have to concur with this recommendation, but I have to argue whether it is the exercise that lowers the risk or if being less obese might outweigh exercise.  More research is needed.  


“Benefits of physical activity may outweigh impact of obesity on cardiovascular disease,” ScienceDaily, 01-Mar-2017. [Online]. Available:–+ScienceDaily%29. [Accessed: 28-Apr-2018]
C. M. Koolhaas, K. Dhana, J. D. Schoufour, M. A. Ikram, M. Kavousi, and O. H. Franco, “Impact of physical activity on the association of overweight and obesity with cardiovascular disease: The Rotterdam Study,” E, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 934–941, Feb. 2017 [Online]. Available: 10.1177/2047487317693952″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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