Belly fat linked with higher heart disease risk

Muffin top. Spare tire. Beer belly. Whatever you call it, research shows that extra fat around your belly poses a unique health threat. The study in the March 6, 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association involved about 500,000 people, ages 40 to 69, in the United Kingdom. The researchers took body measurements of the participants and then kept track of who had heart attacks over the next seven years. During that period, the women who carried more weight around their middles (measured by waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, or waist-to-height ratio) had a 10% to 20% greater risk of heart attack than women who were just heavier over all (measured by body mass index, or BMI, a calculation of weight in relation to height). A larger waist-to-hip ratio, in particular, appeared to be a bigger heart attack risk factor for women than for men. The analysis showed that compared with BMI, waist-to-hip ratio was 18% stronger as a heart attack predictor in women — versus 6% stronger in men. But the message that you should take from this study should be less about the gender differences and more about the overall risks presented by central adiposity, says Dr. Barbara Kahn, the George Richards Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Widening waistline, growing risks Regardless of whether women are more vulnerable than men to heart problems related to abdominal weight gain, it’s pretty clear that central adiposity presents important health risk...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Diet and Weight Loss Health Heart Health Source Type: blogs

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