Excess fat stored around the abdomen is associated with a higher risk of early death from any cause, regardless of overall body fat, the British Medical Journal informs.
Now, a huge study conducted by the Oxford University of Britons has shown that waistline inches and not things like body mass index (BMI) are the best indicator of potential heart issues. In fact, every extra inch on your waistline increases your risk of heart failure by 11% the Mirror reports.
Around 920,000 Brits have heart failure with 200,000 new cases each year. Heart failure is also reportedly the leading cause of hospital admissions for those over 65, said The Sun.
The Oxford University study (comprising 430,000 British subjects for 13 years) presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, reportedly found that those with the biggest waists were 3.21 times more likely to suffer heart failure than slimmer adults.
Additionally, the heaviest subjects were also 2.65 times likelier to develop heart failure.
Analysis of data on those aged (40 to 70) showed that waist circumference is the bigger risk factor over other obesity measures such as BMI. Thus, experts have warned that it’s vital to shift dangerous belly flab than just losing a few pounds.
Over the 13-year study, it was also found that the risk of heart attacks and cardiac arrests, increased by 4% for every centimetre on the waistline (where 2.54 centimetres equals one inch).
Thereby, every inch on your waistline increases your risk of heart failure by 11% said the Mirror.
Lead researcher Dr Ayodipupo Oguntade confirms that the amount of “trunk fat” is more important in the tracking of cardiovascular risk.
He is reported to have said, “The amount of fat people carry around their trunk is more important in tracking body fatness and cardiovascular risk.
“We know that visceral adipose tissue – the fat around the organs in the abdomen – is very active and contains a lot of inflammatory factors that can cause cardiovascular disease.”
According to health experts, everyone should get themselves measured annually to check if they are building up dangerous fat around their organs.
Two out of three adults in the UK are either overweight or obese. Also, heart and circulatory diseases causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK, claiming almost 500 lives a day, said The Telegraph.
In April, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) had advised Brits to keep their waistline less than half of your height, informs the Mirror.
“Ideally you should have a piece of tape measuring half your height somewhere handy in the bathroom,” advises Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum.
He adds, “If it fits snugly around your bare waist, you’re in a ‘healthy’ weight range.
“If it doesn’t, seriously consider cutting down on the sugary snacks which probably caused your spare tyre and sensibly reduce your risk of any heart problem.”
James Leiper, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation is quoted as saying, “A larger waist measurement is often a sign that you have too much visceral fat, which sits around our internal organs and impairs the way our heart and blood vessels, function.
“Heart failure is a chronic and incurable condition that worsens over time, so these findings underline the importance of managing your weight now.
“People who carry more weight around their middle have an increased risk of higher cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
“These risk factors are all closely linked with heart and circulatory diseases, which can then increase the risk of heart failure.”
The Oxford study also reportedly showed that every extra unit of BMI increases the chances of heart failure by nine per cent.
Dr Oguntade is reported to have said his team’s analysis disproves the so-called “obesity paradox” theory from previous studies which suggested that for some people, such as the elderly, normal to low BMI may be detrimental.
He said it proved no level of extra “fatness” boosted health because any extra BMI points or inches on the waistline increased risk.
Until now, the NHS advice suggested that BMI (which measures the mass and height of a person) was enough to assess whether weight is healthy or not.