Belly fat may be a worrying sign for your heart even if you are not technically seen as overweight, a new study conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic reveals.
The researchers analyzed health records of more than 12,700 people over a period of 14 years with the average of the participants being 44 years. The researchers noted down the body mass index (BMI) and the waist-to-hip ratio of the participants. At the end of the study period, the researchers found that around 2,500 participants died, with over 1,100 people dying due to cardiovascular problems.
On comparing the number of deaths with the data collected, the researchers found that those who had normal BMI but had a higher waist-to-hip ratio were 2.75 times more likely to die from cardiovascular problems compared to those who were normal on both scales while those who were termed as clinically obese or overweight were 2.34 times more likely to suffer from a fatal cardiovascular problem.
"We knew from previous research that central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight. Central obesity in the setting of normal weight appears to be more dangerous than any other fat distribution pattern", Mayo Clinic cardiologist, Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez said.