Friends and blog readers, you will all be happy to hear that more body fat doesn’t always mean a greater risk for heart attack. YEAH! (as most of us are carrying a little bit of extra body fat here and there). Studies are beginning to show that your risk depends on where you carry your extra pounds. A new study reported last month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, pooled data from nearly 16,000 patients with heart disease and found evidence that belly fat is the chief culprit in the link between obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The study found that the bigger your waistline, the higher your chances of dying in the months/years after a cardiac event. This heightened risk remained present even for people who were considered normal weight based on their BMI’s (body mass index)….if they had big bellies, they were also at an increased risk for death.
So, how big does your belly have to be to put you at high risk? Well, waist measurements of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women were considered in the danger zone. There is also a waist-hip ration (that would be your waist measurement divided by your hip measurement) and the high risk danger zone was greater than .9 for men and .85 for women.
What type of increased risk are we talking about? Well, patients who had the big bellies were 1.29 times as likely to die in the months following their heart attack than those with smaller waists. Those with the greater waist-hip ratios were 1.69 times as likely to die.
Unfortunately, fat is not an insert substance. Scientists believe fat may release a variety of toxins that can have harmful effects on the heart or the body’s blood vessels. Your belly fat is close to your liver and your heart and perhaps that’s why it matters more.
So, if you look in the mirror tonight and an apple shape comes to mind, it’s time to reflect on your present state of health. Get out that tape measure and make sure you are in the “under 40” male group and “under 35” female group. And if not? Well, perhaps it’s time to strive to look more like a pear or a banana 🙂