Home » News » A big belly may be putting you at risk for heart failure

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. 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.

2 Responses to “A big belly may be putting you at risk for heart failure”

  1. Ok so….why is a big belly a problem ? (I know it is supposed to put men a greater risk if heart problems) …but WHY is a big belly in particular leading to that? Is it just extra fat?…or is there something else going on? Maybe its too much or too little testosterone….maybe too much estrogen builds up—-and what about the link to prostate cancer ?
    and how do you get rid of or at least minimize the pot…I don’t think excersize works unless you lose weight over your whole body. Is diet the only answer ?

    Thanks

  2. I should like to second the above questions, especially what to do about it. I was always super-slim, am now near 70 and have for the past few years, though a short woman with a BMI 22 or so, a size 31 to 33 waist. . .outsize for my height. I do core exercises, especially of abdominal muscles, daily and try to brisk-walk, ski, or swim for 3/4 hour 3 times per week. I eat whole grains, fruits, veggies, and not red meat, and very few processed foods. Now what?