Waist size may be more important than weight for multiple heart attack risk

Heart attack survivors who carry more weight around their stomach are at greater risk of another heart attack, new research has discovered, another reason for measuring your waist may be more significant than stepping on the scale.

It’s been known for a while that having a pot belly, even when you’re slim elsewhere, raises the probability of having a first heart attack, however, the latest research, which released Monday at the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, is the very first time scientists have discovered a link between stomach fat and the risk of a subsequent heart attack or stroke, record agencies.

The link was particularly powerful in men, researchers said.

“Maintaining a wholesome waist circumference is important for preventing future heart attacks and strokes regardless of the number of drugs you might be taking or how healthy your blood glucose tests are.”

The study tracked over 22,000 Swedish patients following their first heart attack and appeared in the connection between their waist circumference and occasions caused by clogged arteries such as deadly and non-fatal heart attacks and stroke. Patients were followed for almost four years, with 1,232 guys (7.3%) and 469 women (7.9percent ) experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Most patients — 78% of men and 90% of girls — had abdominal obesity, defined as a waist circumference of 94 cm (37.6 inches) or above for guys, and 80 cm (32 inches) or over for women.

The analysis found that gut fat was linked to heart attacks and stroke independent of other risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, body mass index and prevention therapies. The investigators stressed that waist circumference was a more significant marker than overall obesity and advised physicians to quantify their patient’s waists to identify those at risk.

But, they stated that the connection was more powerful and much more linear in guys, who made up nearly three-fourths of those patients included in the analysis, than women.

In girls, Mohammadi said the connection was”U-shaped” instead of linear, meaning the mid-range waist measurement, rather than the narrowest, was risky.

What is more, the mid-range waist measurement was in the scope traditionally known as at risk for abdominal fat: more than 80 cm wide.

The reason for this could be down to the form of fat which tends to hang out on men’s and women’s bellies. Mohammadi said some studies have suggested that men could have more visceral fat which goes deep inside your body and wraps round your organs.

This fat can be turned into cholesterol which may start collecting along and hardening your arteries, possibly ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke.

“In girls it is believed that a greater part of the abdominal fat is constituted by subcutaneous fat which is relatively benign,” she said.

However, the decreased numbers of women included in the study meant the findings had less”statistical power” and more study was required to draw certain conclusions, Mohammadi said.

The writers stated that belly fat was best handled by a healthy diet and regular exercise. Earlier studies have demonstrated that regular moderate cardio, like walking for at least 30 minutes a day, may help combat a widening waistline. Strength training with weights may additionally help but determine exercises like sit-ups that can tighten abs will not touch visceral fat.

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