Body fat: Its relationship to coronary heart disease, blood pressure, lipids and other risk factors measured in a large male population

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      Obesity is variably considered to be a major contributor to hypertension and hyperlipidemia, and its treatment is recommended in the management of coronary heart disease. Total body fat was measured by tritium dilution in a large male population and its relationship to age, blood pressure, serum lipids, uric acid and the diagnoses of coronary heart disease, hypertension and glucose intolerance was examined. In addition, three commonly used weight: height indices of obesity were correlated with each of these parameters.
      The correlation of body fat with blood pressure, serum cholesterol and triglycerides, although statistically significant, was of only small magnitude. Mean levels of body fat were not significantly different between patients with coronary disease and control subjects, whereas serum cholesterol and, to a lesser extent, systolic blood pressure were potent risk factors for the disease. It is concluded that obesity is only a minor determinant of blood pressure and lipid level, and that its contribution to coronary heart disease is small or nonexistent.
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