Normal Weight Does Not Guarantee Freedom From Heart Disease

Researchers looked into an alternative method of determining the risks of cardiovascular disease. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, they sought to determine whether there was a link between heart disease and those who had central (abdominal) obesity but also had a normal body mass index (BMI). More than 15, 000 adults (52.3 percent women), 18 to 90 years of age were classified as being of normal weight, overweight, or obese. Being centrally obese was determined on the basis of waist-to-hip ratios. Participants with normal weight but with abdominal obesity had the worst long-term survival and were more likely to die during the 14 years of follow-up. Subjects with normal waist-to-hip ratios but who were overweight or obese were less likely to die during follow- up. In summary, both men and women with normal-weight abdominal obesity had a higher mortality risk than those with a similar BMI but no abdominal obesity.

(Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, November 10, 2015)

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