Atherosclerosis and Obesity

Obesity is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis, the number one cause of death in the United States. Excess weight increases your chances of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure - all three of which are causes of atherosclerosis. Extra risk comes with being overweight (BMI greater than 25), but particularly with obesity (BMI greater than 30). Approximately 20 percent of Americans between the age of 25 and 34 are obese; another 10 percent of the population becomes obese with each passing decade up to the age of 55.

Fast Facts:

  • Obesity is having a high amount of extra body fat.
  • More than half of Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Taking the weight off can slow down or prevent atherosclerosis as well.
  • A study found that waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is the most accurate obesity marker for identifying people with atherosclerosis.