Hidden fat surrounding the heart can be as responsible for cardiac disease as visible fat found at the waistline, thighs and butt. Hidden behind the rib cage is a fat known as pericardial fat which new studies are finding can be responsible for the build-up of plaque along coronary artery walls. Pericardial fat can lead to heart attacks and it is linked to obesity and overweight conditions.
Two-thirds of our population is overweight or obese which constitutes a national epidemic in America and is therefore a major contributor to the leading causes of death. Pericardial fat can be revealed on a CT scan or an MRI screening, but cannot be recognized from outside the body. It is not recommended for everyone to begin looking for CT scans or MRI’s as they are expensive and not necessary in most cases. However, if a patient is overweight or obese, or has other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, then a doctor should be consulted for possible screening.
At New Horizon in Norwood, MA we help many patients that are overweight or obese. We know they are concerned about their risk factors and we help create wellness plans that can actually reduce those risk factors. Our treatments are focused on helping individuals move toward a more healthy and active lifestyle. Exercise is a key ingredient to improving heart health and we make it a part of every treatment where possible. Helping an individual understand their health baseline and setting a pace for improvement is what we encourage for all patients.