December 15, 2018
1 min read

Sedentary lifestyle increases CVD risk in patients with healthy BMI

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Patients with a BMI between 18.5 kg/m2 and 24.9 kg/m2 who led a sedentary lifestyle had an increased risk for CVD compared with those who were overweight, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Arch G. Mainous III, PhD, chair of the department of health services research, management and policy and professor in the department of community health and family medicine at the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues analyzed 2011 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from patients aged 40 to 79 years who did not have CVD and had a BMI that classified them as healthy weight (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2) or overweight (25 to 29.9 kg/m2).

Patients had their weight and height measured during the NHANES examination, which was used to calculate BMI. Sagittal abdomen diameter and waist circumference were also measured. Researchers calculated the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association atherosclerotic CVD risk score to determine 10-year risk for a first CVD event. Patients were asked questions about their physical activity and sitting time.

Of the patients with a healthy weight, 29.6% had an increased risk for a CVD event.

After adjusting for race, age, education, sex, insurance status, poverty to income ratio and number of health care provider visits within a year, the number of patients with shortness of breath upon exertion (OR = 1.35; 95% CI, 0.65-2.79), unhealthy sagittal abdomen diameter (OR = 2.44; 95% CI, 0.97-6.14), less than recommended amounts of physical activity (OR = 0.73; 95% CI, 0.43-1.23) and unhealthy waist circumference (OR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.6-1.61) was not statistically different than those with overweight regarding high risk for a CVD event.

Patients with a healthy weight and healthy characteristics were less likely to have a high risk for CVD compared with those with overweight, according to the researchers.

“Encouraging patients to maintain or achieve a healthy BMI may not be enough to ensure lower CVD risk and CVD prevention,” Mainous and colleagues wrote. “Messaging about a healthy lifestyle may benefit from additional focus on achieving sufficient physical activity.” – by Darlene Dobkowski

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.