A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has warned that black women who have large waists due to obesity are at an increased risk of dying prematurely.
The Black Women's Health Study looked into more than 33,900 who had no history of smoking or of any cardiovascular disease and cancer at the start. All of the volunteers were measured for their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference at the start of the study.
Conducting a follow-up 13 years later, the researchers found that among those who had a BMI in excess of 20, every five unit rise increased the risk of death by 18 percent. The researchers also found that those who had a BMI in excess of 30 were three times more likely to die while those with BMI over 25 were twice more likely to die compared to those whose BMI was below 25.
"The present findings indicate that the risk of death in black women increases with increasing BMI of 25 or higher, similar to the pattern in white populations. Our findings highlight the importance for women to maintain a healthy weight and keep extra inches off the waist in order to decrease their risk of death", lead researcher Deborah Boggs said.