Tags: Large | Waists | Linked | Heart | Failure

Large Waists Linked To Heart Failure

Monday, 17 April 2006 12:00 AM

Older adults with their fat around their waists may be at high risk of chronic heart failure, according to a study from Wake Forest University.

The finding suggests that excessive abdominal fat, in and of itself, can contribute to heart failure, say experts.

In a study of more than 2,400 older men and women, investigators led by Dr. Barbara J. Nicklas found that individuals with large waistlines were at increased risk of chronic heart failure -- regardless of whether they had major risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes or a history of heart attack.

By the end of the study, 166 participants had developed heart failure, and the risk of the disease climbed in tandem with waistline measurements.

Men and women with "high-risk" waistlines -- 35 inches or more for women, and at least 40 inches for men -- were nearly twice as likely to develop heart failure as those who were trimmer around the middle.

In contrast, the researchers found, body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, was not a good predictor of heart failure once waist circumference was taken into account.

Past studies have found that "apple-shaped" people appear to be at particular risk of clogged arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.

In turn, all of those diseases can lead to heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart can't pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body's needs, resulting in symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness and fluid build-up.

The current study appears to be the first to find that otherwise healthy, heart-disease-free adults may be at risk of heart failure due to abdominal obesity alone.

Abdominal fat, according to Nicklas and her colleagues, may increase pressure within the abdominal cavity, lead to an enlargement of the heart and stiffening in the aorta.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Older adults with their fat around their waists may be at high risk of chronic heart failure, according to a study from Wake Forest University. The finding suggests that excessive abdominal fat, in and of itself, can contribute to heart failure, say experts. In a...
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2006-00-17
Monday, 17 April 2006 12:00 AM
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