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Jul 07, 2011

Inflammation of Fat Tissue Threatens Heart Health

When it comes to heart disease, not all fat is created equal.

We all know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for our heart health. Carrying around excess fat can increase risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. But recent studies show that not all fat is created equal, and some types of fat may contribute to heart disease more than others.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology investigating the role of inflammation of adipose tissue on heart disease, researchers found that obese individuals with inflammation had much higher rates of hypertension, high cholesterol and insulin resistance than those without fat inflammation. Although this study was small with less than 150 participants, findings may be extremely helpful in assessing risk and helping to prevent development of heart disease in patients.

If inflamed fat increases risk for the development of heart disease, patients who are overweight and obese may want to have their fat tested to evaluate inflammation. Although weight loss is recommended for all patients who are overweight or obese, it is important that patients with inflamed fat take action to reduce their weight and inflammation in order to reduce their risk for heart disease. 

Read this Article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Questions for You to Consider

  • How can doctors test inflammation of adipose tissue?

  • To test for fat inflammation, doctors must obtain a fat sample to biopsy for certain substances known as macrophage crown-like structures, which are indicative of inflammation.
  • How can I help reduce fat inflammation in my body?

  • You can help to reduce inflammation of adipose tissue by maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins such as nuts and fish. Some drugs have also been shown to help reduce inflammation of fat over time.

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