Health, Science

Large Waistlines Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

We all detect a certain pattern among heart doctors, nowadays; they all seem to be tooting the “weight loss” horn oh-so-enthusiastically. However, according to a recent study done by the International Medical Center Heart Institution in Salt Lake City, it seems that the waistline, rather than your all overall weight, is what increases your risk of heart disease. Now, this may not seem as much of a difference to us, but turns out, the difference is quite significant!

Apparently, people who pack fat in their hip region aka. pear shape, are more protected against risk of heart disease than those who pack the fat in their belly region aka. apple shape. The study was performed on a sample of 200 men and women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Their waist circumference, BMI, and total body weight were measured, and their heart function was evaluated by echocardiography. Keep in mind that while diabetes does increase risk of heart disease, all the studied patients did not display any symptoms of heart disease.

The results showed that the left ventricular function became worse as the waist circumference increased, leveling off at 45 inches. Also, this link was independent of the patients’ BMI or total body weight. Furthermore, when compared to men, women generally displayed better heart function. The results of this study supported previous research indicating that abdominal fat was more risky.

The study of these diabetes patients showed that a larger waistline is a stronger prediction of serious heart disease than the measure of total body weight or Body Mass Index (BMI). Also, previous studies have shown that the link of coronary atherosclerosis with abdominal obesity is much stronger than with other forms of obesity. Moreover, left ventricle heart function got worse with larger waistlines; studying the effects of the waistline on the left ventricle function is quite important as this is the primary pumping chamber in the heart, and its abnormal function is a common cause of heart disease. Even after adjusting general body weight, the relation between waistline circumference and the left ventricle function remained very important.

In a nutshell, the results show that the smaller the waistline, the lower the risk of heart disease is. Doctors recommend a waistline of 34 inches or less for women and 40 inches or less for men. Furthermore, diet and aerobic exercise remain the main way of treating obesity of all types. However, apple shaped individuals should be particularly interested in improving their quality of life. It is also good to note that smokers store more belly fat than non-smokers, despite their overall body weight.