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Could Your Waist-Size Predict Your Heart Attack Risk?

Posted Jan 20 2010 5:34pm

Now that the holiday “eating season” has drawn to a close, many people are carrying around 5-10 more pounds than they were before Halloween. It’s no wonder that people who haven’t visited their gym since last Fall are suddenly putting in regular appearances. And with the latest research on cardiovascular disease is correct, slimming down could be a matter of life and death.

Carrying excessive weight around the mid-section has long been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but recently a major 10-year study found that half of all fatal heart disease cases, and a quarter of all non-fatal cases are linked to being overweight and, in particular,  having a high body mass index (BMI) or large waist. All the more reason to stick to that New Year’s resolution to get in – or back in shape. 

BMI and waist circumference are well-known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but the researchers believe their findings show that BMI and waist size may actually help predict your risk of dying from, or developing heart disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), being overweight is defined as having a BMI of between 25 and 30, and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. Waist circumference measurements in men were defined as between 94 and 101.9 cm for overweight and more than 102 cm for obese. In women these measurements were 80-87.9 cm for overweight and more than 88 cm for obese.

Calculate your BMI to determine your risk. Keeping track of your waist-to-hip ratio is another, perhaps more accurate method of tracking your heart attack risk.

Be Well,

Carolyn

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