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Watch that Bulge!

April 8, 2009

Bulging Waistline Boosts Heart Failure Risk

Every 10-cm increase in waist circumference raised the risk by 15% to 20%, Emily Levitan, Sc.D., of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues reported in Circulation: Heart Failure.

In women, rising BMI, independent of waist circumference, did not predict the risk of heart failure hospitalization or mortality.

Among men, however, both a greater waist circumference and greater BMI posed an increasing heart failure hazard.

“We found that waist circumference was predictive of heart failure events regardless of BMI, but there was a suggestion of an association with BMI only at high waist circumference among women,” the authors said. “In contrast both abdominal and overall adiposity appeared to be associated with heart failure events among men.

“For all participants, the strength of the association between adiposity and heart failure events appeared to weaken with age.”

The worldwide incidence of obesity and heart failure has increased in parallel, and several epidemiologic studies have associated obesity and overweight with heart failure.

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