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Obesity raises the chance of a heart attack regardless of whether a person has the cluster of cardiovascular risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, according to a study that challenges previous beliefs.

Metabolic syndrome, a condition that includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar, accounts for about 12 percent to 26 percent of the risk of heart attack and heart disease due to being overweight and obese, researchers found. The rest of the increased risk is mostly due to a person’s body mass index, said Borge Nordestgaard, senior author of the study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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