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Originally published October 9 2008

Prescription Drugs Useless at Reducing Heart Disease Risk for the Obese

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Taking drugs for cholesterol and blood pressure without actually losing weight does not decrease people's risk of cardiovascular disease, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Researchers examined 6,814 people between the ages of 45 and 84 for subclinical markers of cardiovascular disease, such as thickening of the carotid artery walls. They found that while none of the participants had experienced clinical heart events yet, those who were overweight or obese were more likely to exhibit risk factors suggesting that they would probably have heart attacks or strokes in the future. This held true even among those taking drugs for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

"Many of the people who were obese were being treated with various medications, but they still were not improving to the point where they were decreasing their risk," said Lona Sandon of the American Dietetic Association, who was not involved in the study.

Between 60 and 85 percent of the people studied were overweight, including between 30 and 50 percent of the total who were obese.

In contrast to those who believe that "if I just take those pills, I'll be OK," Sandon said, the new study demonstrates that "you have to make some changes, some lifestyle changes and some food changes, to lead to a healthier weight."

"There is a debate out there about whether this generation is going to live as long as their parents, and the truth is they probably won't," researcher Gregory L. Burke said. "My ultimate worry is that we've seen a 50-year decline in cardiovascular disease mortality, but if you begin to look at recent trends, it's beginning to plateau. And my fear is that because of the increase in obesity we're going to begin to see a reversal of that trend where heart disease rates begin to go up."

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