Overweight people with heart disease are 30% LESS likely to die early than their thinner counterparts
Obese patients are 15 per cent less likely to die youngOne reason may be because overweight patients receive more aggressive treatment
18:32 GMT, 19 March 2013
18:36 GMT, 19 March 2013
Overweight heart disease sufferers are 30 per cent less likely to die early than their healthy weight counterparts
It's widely believed that being overweight is bad for your heart and can lead to premature death.
But new study shows that overweight heart disease sufferers are actually 30 per cent less likely to die early than their counterparts of a healthy weight.
The researchers, from University College London, also found that even obese cardiac patients are 15 per cent less likely to die young than those of a normal weight.
Dr Mark Hamer, the study leader, told MailOnline: ‘The most plausible reason is that the obese patient is treated more aggressively because they have more risk factors – like high cholesterol and high blood pressure – which mean that doctors prioritise them, but that is just speculation.
‘We didn’t really get to the bottom of it but it certainly shows that it is a bad idea to focus on weight – BMI is not always a good marker of health.’
He explained that it is important to look at other factors, such as exercise, because people can improve the health of their heart significantly by exercising, even if they do not lose weight.
Dr Hamer and his colleagues followed 4,400 cardiac patients who took part in the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey.
They found that less of the overweight patients died in the seven years that they were followed than did the normal weight patients.
The researchers at UCL were not the first to find that overweight heart patients had a lower chance of premature death than normal weight ones.
Dr Hamer also explained that there is some data from previous studies to support the suggestion that overweight patients receive more aggressive treatment.
The researchers believe it may be because overweight patients are treated more aggressively
Other recent research has shown that heart attack survivors who are exposed to air pollution are more likely to die young.
Experts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine monitored more than 154,000 patients treated for heart attacks and angina for an average period of 3.7 years.
They found that higher levels of tiny sooty particles in the air increased death rates among survivors of acute coronary syndrome by 12 per cent.
Another recent study showed that all people who are overweight may outlive their thinner counterparts.
Men and women who are slightly plump – essentially carrying a few extra pounds – have longer lives than those of a normal weight, according to a study of more than three million people
However, those who were any bigger than this were around a third more likely to die during the months or years they were being studied than those of normal weight.