Christof Prugger of the University of Munster and study co-authors used data on heart patients age 70 and younger from three surveys, conducted in 1995/1996, 1999/2000 and 2006/2007.
The study authors traced trends in cardiovascular risk factors during a 12-year period in previously hospitalized patients with coronary heart disease.
The study, published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International, found the prevalence of smoking among the heart patients remained unchanged.
The numbers of patients with high blood pressure and high cholesterol went down but the percentage of obese patients almost doubled from 1995 to 2007.
In addition, the number of patients taking medications to lower their blood pressure and/or cholesterol level increased, as did the number of diabetics.