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The increased risk of heart disease is not just attributed to general obesity, it could also be dependent on the site of fat deposit in the body. If most of your fat deposit is around your waist rather than at your hips and other parts of the body, you are at a higher risk for heart disease.

According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, it suggests that a waist-to-hip ratio measurement may be a better indicator of heart attack risk than body mass index for both men and women.

WHY FAT DEPOSIT IN THE WAIST AFFECT THE HEART

Fat around the waist is more metabolically active, is closely related to insulin resistance, and may be more strongly associated with the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

MEASURING YOUR WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE

Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. The US National Heart, Lung and Blood institute affirms that waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men is at great risk of heart disease.

To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle (on the belly button) just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.

OTHER FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HEART DISEASE

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

  • Healthy Eating: Make lifestyle changes with a focus on reducing calories from food with a healthy eating plan, and portion control strategies.
  • Exercise: In addition to healthy eating, being physically active will help keep the weight off over time.
  • Know Your Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is a useful measure of overweight and obesity. It is calculated from your height and weight. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and certain cancers.

RELATED ARTICLE: Four Keys to a Healthier Diet

REFERENCES: Mayoclinic, American Heart Association, and US National Heart, Lung and Blood institute

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