SEOUL, April 22 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visible weight gain since assuming power in 2012 could be linked to stress and places Kim at high risk of a heart attack, South Korean experts said Wednesday.
Kim's obesity could be attributed to several factors, including irregular activity, lack of exercise and overeating, one unnamed South Korean doctor told Daily NK.
The North Korean leader also has a family history of heart attacks, the doctor said. Both his grandfather Kim Il Sung and father Kim Jong Il reportedly died from acute myocardial infarctions. Additionally, if Kim suffers from high blood pressure or diabetes, his risk of heart attack increases to 20 times the average.
In 2014 when Kim was absent from public events for 40 days and later reappeared with a cane, some analysts said the injury was the result of gout while others said it was due to a broken ankle, Sky News reported.
Pyongyang eventually admitted Kim had suffered from "discomfort" but without providing details.
One South Korean doctor said based on Kim's weight it is possible his "cholesterol levels are...off the charts," and that Kim is ailing from "metabolic syndrome, a hodgepodge of pre-diabetes symptoms such as high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia and obesity."
Earlier this month Sky News reported Kim appeared on North Korean television with a bandage tied around his right wrist.
The bandage was visible as Kim waved and smiled at a gathering during a weapons factory tour in Pyongyang around April 10.
A South Korean government official told Sky News Kim did not have the injury on April 4, when the North Korean leader was inspecting a military unit.