Waistline predicts heart risks more strongly than BMI in diabetics

Washington : According to a recent study, waist circumference is a stronger predictor of heart disease than the Body Mass Index (BMI).

The study from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City and John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore lends more evidence to the idea that it’s better to be shaped like a pear, with weight around the hips, as opposed to an apple, with weight around the abdomen.

Researchers from the two centers found that abdominal obesity or having an apple-shaped body is a strong predictor of serious heart disease in patients who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and haven’t displayed any symptoms of heart disease.

Apple-shaped bodies are already associated with metabolic syndrome (which includes high blood pressure, high sugar levels and high cholesterol), as well as coronary artery disease and heart failure, but this new study found that waist circumference is also a strong predictor of left ventricular dysfunction in patients. Metabolic syndrome is often accompanied by excess body fat around the abdomen.

The research examined patients with diabetes, who are considered high risk for developing heart disease already and found that the shape of your body determined if you were at a greater risk to develop left ventricular dysfunction, said Brent Muhlestein.

“This study confirms that having an apple-shaped body or a high waist circumference can lead to heart disease, and that reducing your waist size can reduce your risks,” adds Dr. Muhlestein.

Results are reported at the 2016 American College of Cardiology Scientific Session in Chicago. (ANI)