Excess Fat around the Waist can Predict Heart Disease even In Healthy Men


A Brazilian study published October 31, 2018, in the Nature journal found that physically active men who are not overweight, but who have excess abdominal fat around the waist are more likely to develop heart disease.
For years researchers have been warning that men and women who have excess abdominal fat around their waists are at a high risk for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as high blood pressure, diabetes and an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood (dyslipidemia). All of these raise the risk for cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes.

Indicators of Abdominal Obesity

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Waist Circumference (WC)
  • Hip Circumference (HC)
  • Conicity Index (CI)
  • Waist Stature Ratio (WSR)

Waist Stature Ratio (WSR)

Waist stature ratio (WSR) is calculated by dividing the waist circumference by height. In this case WC is evidence of abdominal obesity while the height remains the same. The researchers believe this is a better indication of cardiovascular risk than the body mass index (BMI).

Method of the Study

Participants were 52 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 30, who were not over weight and who had no history of metabolic or cardiovascular disease. However, they had A WSR near the limit for risks and thus were much more prone to developing heart disease than men with less fat around the waist.

The participants had to perform a maximum effort test on a treadmill followed by standing at rest for three minutes and then they sat down for 57 minutes of rest – all together one hour of rest.
The next day they had to run for 25 minutes.

Analysis of Test Results

Autonomic heart rate recovery time took longer to return to normal in those men who had more abdominal fat around their waists. This shows that they are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease events.

Heart Disease in the United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Heart Disease in the United States is the number one leading cause of death for both men and women, although more than half of deaths from heart disease in 2009 were men.

About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common type of heart disease, killing over 370,000 people every year.

Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

Post-Stroke Care and Cardiac Rehabilitation

The Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey, offers expert post-stroke care and cardiac rehabilitation at the hands of a warm and caring staff.


Abdominal fat round the waist may be a more accurate way than body mass index (BMI) to predict who will get heart disease in the future, but research is needed to see if men who are able to lose this abdominal fat will have the risk for heart disease lowered.

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