A recent study claims that your waistline could be a much more clear indicator of the heart disease risks you are prone to, as opposed to the well-known BMI. The study was conducted by the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute of Salt Lake City, and the results were presented last Saturday during a cardiology conference in Chicago.
Obesity has always been a problem in the United States, and the numbers only seem to be growing. With the rise of obese people so do heart and cardiovascular diseases. It has been widely known that the body mass index (BMI) is like a compass in detecting health issues, especially those related to the heart. However, others have been claiming that the index is not relevant.
In the light of the recent discovery that there are more overweight than underweight people in the world, a new study points out that risks of heart disease are actually determined by the circumference of our waists. The results show that the larger the waistline, the more prone people are to developing cardiovascular diseases.
It appears that those who have apple-shaped bodies have higher chances of developing heart diseases than those with a pear-shaped body because the abdominal fat does more harm than the one found on your hips. The study involved diabetes patients that did not exhibit heart disease symptoms and concluded that people with larger waistlines have worse ventricular functions than the thinner ones.
Dr. Brent Muhlestein, author of the study, has stated that abdominal obesity is the most harmful one since it favors the build-up of plaque in the arteries, much more than fat that is deposited elsewhere. Any modification to the ventricular function leads to heart disease since the left ventricle is known to be the primary pumping chamber of the body.
However, abdominal health does influence much more because of its diverse inflammatory substances, according to cardiologist Dr. Sarah Samaan from Texas. A large waistline also leads to high blood pressure, diabetes and a stiff heart which in turn determines heart failure.
In more details, the study points out that the recommended size for women is less than 34 inches while the one for men should be below forty inches. The risks usually start showing up in those with a waistline larger than 45 inches. In order to avoid this outcome, people are advised to lead a healthy lifestyle, including an appropriate diet and exercise.
The findings are still in a preliminary phase since they have yet to be published in a medical journal reviewed by peers. However, previous studies seem to point in the same direction.
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