Waist-to-Hip Ratio Found Best Predictor of Heart Disease

Predicting heart disease may come down to a tale of the tape… the measuring tape. A new British study is lending more credence to the belief that where on the body a person is carrying fat, and not just the amount of fat nor their weight, can be a strong predictor of heart disease.

The study is another piece of evidence that ties fat around the belly to the risk of heart disease, and it suggests using a measuring tape to determine a person’s waist-to-hip ratio. In other words, having a big waist can be a bigger sign of trouble in someone with relatively small hips that with someone whose big waist is matched by big hips.

The study, from the University of Cambridge, tracked heart disease in 24,500 British adults, according to a story in WebMD. The study appears in the journal Circulation.

The study sought to find out which of a number of factors best predicted heart disease: BMI (body mass index, which is calculated using a person’s height and weight), waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference by itself, or hip circumference itself.

The waist-to-hip ratio was found to be the best predictor of heart disease, and it held true whether a person was overweight or had a normal weight, as measured by BMI.

Much recent research has pointed to the belief that excess visceral fat (fat in the body cavity, as opposed to fat underneath the skin) can release hormones into the adjacent organs, increasing a person’s risk of heart disease (and, some research has indicated, other diseases as well).Wasit

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