Ridiculous Study of the Week: Obesity and CHF

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Are you ready to get your mind blown? Morbidly obese people are more than two times as likely to have heart failure than those with a healthy body weight. The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.  This article points out that “the researchers could not explain the link, even after accounting for other risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes that are known to be connected to extra weight. It may be the weight puts higher demand on the heart and fat may release toxic molecules.”  May be a higher demand?  I am sorry if this comes off as fat shaming but this does makes physiologic sense.   I am not a pathologist but doesn’t almost every morbidly obese person on autopsy show a massively enlarged heart?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Ridiculous Study of the Week: Obesity and CHF

  1. Steve O'
    August 29, 2016 at 10:33 am

    I suspect that we are as ignorant about the medical nature of obesity as the pre-Galen physicians who believed in magic amulets and potions. Look at the morbidly obese person above, and then ask any of your patients who are obese if they are ignorant. Yes, ask them if they are ignorant. For the medical research community assumes that they just thrive on stupid. Duh, they know they are morbidly obese, and duh, they understand the rudiments of it. But normal weight people are not so because they are smarter or less ignorant, no matter what the higher wisdom from University states. Something’s deranged, especially for the BMI>50 crowd. They’re about as much “big fat slobs” as were the edematous heart patients with dropsy. “Drink less water!” “Use less salt!” Yes, of course. But why, and what else?
    Ghrelin, for instance, is apparently the cause, not of weight gain per se, but of the “Fatty Fisique” that is so risible to the fat-shaming culture. A hundred years from now, we will see the shaming of fat children to be on the equivalent of the mocking of African-American children as pic-ies.
    Research such as this should be considered the excretion of a LPU – a least publishable unit – for the benefit of a burgeoning academic world. Perhaps it is the first-blood of an Ivy Research Doctor in training. But you will see little decent research unless there is a profit behind it.

  2. August 29, 2016 at 8:04 am

    I understand the need not to fat-shame. There are those whose excess weight does indeed have metabolic bases. They expose the lie of the accusations of moral failure that are often hurled at the seriously overweight.

    But to indicate that there is no cause and effect connection between extreme obesity and heart failure seems to be one of the most blatant examples of pandering to so-called “political correctness” that I have seen in a while. Nor does it do any good for those who live with those extra pounds: keeping them in ignorance about the greater likelihood of an early death prevents them from doing proper preparation for this great inevitability. It doesn’t mean they necessarily lose weight. It could mean that they look at themselves with more realistic eyes and perhaps face with courage and grace the earlier facing of death.

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