New findings suggest that middle-aged and older people with bigger waist sizes, even people within the fit body mass index range, are more at risk of heart failure.
The researchers analyzed the weight, height, and waist size of approximately 80,000 men and women in their mid-40s to early 80s. They recorded how many of them had heart failure in a seven-year time period. The study’s lead author, Emily Levitan of Beth Israel Deaconess, stated that the bigger your waistline gets, the more your risk increases.
The report stated that women holding extra weight around their stomachs were 15 per cent more likely to develop heart failure. Yet, men were somewhat worse off, being 16 per cent more likely to develop the life-threatening condition if they had a larger stomach.
Heart failure (also known as congestive heart failure) is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the heart can no longer pump an adequate amount of blood to meet the body’s needs. It is typically caused by existing cardiac conditions, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. Heart failure is the number one cause of hospitalization among patients 65 and older, and is characterized by such symptoms as fatigue and weakness, difficulty walking, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and persistent cough or wheezing.
The strength of the studies findings tended to decline among older people. Since people tend to get frailer with age, the researcher reorted, it’s conceivable that body weight and fat become a less important determinant of risk as people get older.