Waist measurement is good for heart

Waist size is more important for your heart health

For those who have higher BMI (Body mass index) and more weight sitting around belly, it is time to measure the waistline and it should be done often for health reasons. According to a new research extra weight around heart attack survivors’ belly can cause another heart attack!

A research article published in European Journal of Preventative Cardiology there is a link between belly fat and heart attack or stroke. Studies that tracked more than 22,000 patients from Sweden who suffered first heart attack revealed the link between the clogged arteries and the waist circumference. Patients both male (1,232) and female (469) were closely followed to understand the link between waistline and heart conditions – fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and stroke. A waist circumference of 94 cm or above in men and 80 cm or above in women considered as obesity. Men 78% and women 90% had the abdominal obesity.

Previous studies on human heart conditions showed that people who has slim figure but extra weight in the belly are at chance of having heart attack. Recent study revealed that added weight around belly in those who survived first heart attack are at risk of having another stroke or heart attack. The link between the waistline and heart is stronger in men than women.

Obesity increases the risk of heart conditions such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure. It is important to give attention not only to body weight but also to waist circumference to prevent future strokes and heart attack. Any number of drugs that a patient is taking may not help if the person’s obesity and waistline does not reduce – says Dr. Hanieh Mohamamdi of Karolinska Institute of Stockholm.

We know that fat especially around the belly is not healthy. Overweight means risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and stroke. If a person also has habit of smoking it can cause further damage to health. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertensions if not under control, adds more burden on heart. Present study suggests that waist circumference is a marker for overall obesity and doctors must take measurement of patients’ waist to understand and identify the risk.

According to Dr. Mohammadi, the link between waistline and heart condition was stronger and more linear in men. Men made up nearly 3/4th of the patients in the study. In women however, the link between two was U shaped indicating it was least risky. Reason for this is type of fat accumulation in men and women in their bellies. Men has more visceral fat that goes deep inside the body and wraps around the important organs. This fat can change to cholesterol that clogs arteries causing all sort of problems. In women the fat is subcutaneous and relatively harmless.  

How to measure the waistline:

  1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.
  2. Breathe out normally.
  3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.
  4. Check your measurement.

What does your measurement mean?

Your health is at risk if your waist size is:

  • Men :    Over 94 cm (about 37 inches)
  • Women Over 80 cm (about 31.5 inches)

How to reduce belly fat?

Proper diet and exercises – moderate cardio can help to reduce belly fat. Walking that gives exercise to entire body and shapes body well is a good exercise. Pilates, weights and stomach crunch type of exercises can help to reduce fat. Once a while or once in a week depending on your condition measure the waistline. Prevent widening of waistline. Make a commitment for yourself to maintain healthy weight and for your well being.


Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: February 13, 2023

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