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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can that Little Pot Belly Indicate That You’re More Likely to Develop Heart Disease?

Yes, even a small amount of abdominal fat may increase the likelihood of heart disease even in otherwise normal weight individuals. Recently, researchers from the University of Texas published a report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which confirmed the fact that waist size rather than overall body weight was a better indicator of heart disease. Researchers in this study based their study on medical tests and imaging scans performed on over two thousand individuals. The results of the testing indicate that women with a waist of thirty-two or larger and men with a waist of thirty seven or greater had a significant risk of heart disease.

The study went on to state that body shape is important. Individuals with the largest waist to hip ratio’s (waist larger than hips) were twice as likely to have the calcium deposits that suggest the onset of Atherosclerosis than those with smaller hip to waist ratios. This body shape also linked with other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. It appears that abdominal fat secretes inflammatory proteins that add to the atherosclerotic plaque accumulation. Still, other studies indicate that belly fat is more toxic than fat located on other areas of the body such as the hips. Although individuals who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, the risk increased if an individual has fat that concentrated around the abdomen. Previous studies have produced the same results as the study done at the University of Texas, consequently it is important for individuals to eat a healthy diet and exercise to prevent the accumulation of belly fat early in life in order to reduce their risks of morbid diseases such a heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

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