Heart Beat July 2009 Issue

Heart Beat: 07/09

A larger waist circumference is associated with a higher risk of heart failure (HF) among older men and women, according to a seven-year study published online April 7 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. Of the 36,873 people aged 48 to 83 who had first-time heart failure events, 34 percent of the women and 46 percent of the men were overweight and another approximately 10 percent in each group were considered obese. What made the findings especially interesting was that researchers found waist size increased the risk of HF even when body mass index (BMI) measurements fell within the normal range. BMI is a formula based on the ratio between height and weight. BMI levels considered obese, along with waist circumference and hip-to-waist ratios, have all shown to be linked to higher rates of heart failure in earlier studies.

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