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Weight and Coronary Artery Disease - Topic Overview

There is a strong association between being overweight and the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD).1 Being overweight increases your chances of having risk factors for CAD. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Losing weight and staying at a healthy weight can help lower your risk for CAD. Weight loss frequently improves other risk factors related to CAD, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and may also help control diabetes.

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Angina -- Discomfort, pain, or pressure in the chest caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart. Pain may also be felt in the neck, jaw, or arms. Angiogram (cardiac catheterization) -- A test used to diagnose heart disease. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into an artery, usually in the leg, and contrast dye is injected into the arteries and heart. X-rays of the arteries and heart are taken. Anticoagulant -- A medication that prevents blood from clotting; used for...

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If you have CAD, your doctor will likely suggest staying at a healthy weight or losing weight if you need to. Your doctor can help you find a weight loss program that can work for you.

What is the importance of body fat distribution?

The distribution of body fat in part may determine the negative impact of obesity on your health. Specifically, the relationship between your waist measurement and your hip measurement, called your waist-to-hip ratio, might play a role in your risk for health problems. If your waist-to-hip ratio is high, it means you are carrying most of your body fat around your abdomen. Fat deposits, especially around the abdomen area, may be an important independent risk factor for diabetes and coronary artery disease.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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