More Attention for Obese Patients Post-Heart Attack or ACS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A new study examines the possibilitythat obese people receive better careand outcomes when being treated forheart attack or other acute coronary syndrome(ACS). While many reports includeobesity as a risk factor for coronaryartery disease, no evidence has directlylinked the two. Investigators from theUniversity of California Davis MedicalCenter performed a data analysis ofmore than 80,000 patients with high-riskACS; about 71% of these patients wereeither overweight or obese. When comparedwith patients of a normal weight,the obese patients were younger andexhibited other symptoms such as diabetes,hypertension, and higher lipid levels.Within the first 24 hours of presentingACS symptoms, overweight and obesepatients were more likely than normal-weightpatients to receive recommendedmedications and to undergo invasivecardiac procedures. As a result, afteradjusting for age and other factors,researchers determined that the overweightand mildly obese patients were11% less likely to die or have anothermyocardial infarction than were the normal-weight patients. In fact, the underweightpatients were 20% more likely todie than normal-weight patients; extremelyobese patients already hadincreased mortality rates. Researchersconcluded that more studies were neededto see how various hospitals treatpeople of different weights and how thattreatment affects outcomes. The studyappears in the July issue of AmericanHeart Journal.

Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.