Waistline may predict heart disease better than weight

The number on the scale often has the power to make or break our day, but a growing body of medical research finds that when it comes to body size, the most important predictor of heart disease risk is waist circumference. That makes sense in part because some people carry more muscle weight, which can skew the BMI, or body mass index.

The BMI is a measurement derived from height and weight, and is commonly used by doctors and others to determine whether you are of normal weight, overweight, or obese. This works fairly well for the general population, but it fails to identify some higher risk individuals, and may unfairly single out other more muscular types.

BMI is easy to use, and a bit less intrusive to obtain than a  waist measurement, but as a study from Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute discovered, abdominal size was powerfully associated with heart function.

As I explained in an interview with Health Day, “Abdominal fat produces a wide range of inflammatory substances, and is more highly correlated with heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes than other types of fat. We know that heavier people are more likely to have stiffer hearts, which in turn can predispose to heart failure. This study shows us that fat in the abdominal area is especially harmful to heart function.”

To learn more, check out the link to the article below.

Source: Waistline may predict heart disease better than weight – CBS News