We’re used to thinking of obesity as a cardiac risk factor, and it is. But now, a new study shows that being slim with belly fat ups your heart attack risk factors more than obesity.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic looked at the BMI (body mass index) and waist-to-hip ratio of 12,785 adults, with a mean age of 44 years old. They followed up with those participants over a 14 year period, during which 2,562 of the participants passed away. Of those deaths 1,138 were caused by a cardiac event.
What the researchers found is that those with a normal BMI, yet an “apple shape”—meaning a high waist-to-hip ratio—had a two times greater risk of death and a 2.75 greater risk of cardiovascular disease than those with a nonapple shape.
Why Belly Fat Is so Dangerous
The reason that belly fat increases cardiac risk factors is that this particular fat secretes a steady stream of chemicals that kindle inflammation throughout the body, damaging the lining of arterial walls, including the coronary arteries and blood vessels in the kidneys.
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