A new study carried out by Mayo Clinic has revealed that patients with coronary heart disease are at a greater risk of dying from the condition if they have belly fat.
While it is often assumed that a higher body mass index (BMI) is the most important factor to look into obesity related health problems, the new study now suggests that it is the amount of fat in the waistlines that can prove to be fatal for people with heart disease.
The researchers collected data from five different studies involving nearly 16,000 people and calculated the distance around the hips and waist to measure the fat around the belly. They found that the risk of death increased by more than 75 percent among patients who had higher fat content in the waist compared to those with low fat content. This was true even among those patients who had a normal BMI.
"BMI is just a measure of weight in proportion to height. What seems to be more important is how the fat is distributed on the body", Mayo Clinic's Dr Thais Coutinho said. The report has been published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.