Cardiovascular diseases or CVDs are the leading cause of death globally. An estimated more than 17.9 million people died from CVDs each year, representing 32% of all deaths worldwide. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke. According to a recent study conducted by Oxford University of Britons, waistline inches and body mass index or BMI are the best indicator of potential heart issues in people worldwide. In fact, every extra inch on your waistline increases your risk of heart failure by 11% the Mirror reports.
The excess fat stored around the abdomen are is associated with a higher risk of early death, regardless of overall body fat, the British Medical Journal elucidates.
The Oxford University study presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, finds that people with the biggest waists were 3.21 times more likely to suffer heart failure than slimmer teens and adults.
Over the course of 13-years, it was additionally found that the risk of heart attacks and cardiac arrests, increased by 4% for every centimetre on the waistline.
Lead researcher of the study Dr Ayodipupo Oguntade confirms that the amount of “trunk fat” is more important in tracking the cardiovascular risk. He said, “The amount of fat people carry around their trunk is more important in tracking body fatness and their risk to cardiovascular diseases. We know that visceral adipose tissue – the fat around the organs in the abdomen – is very active and contains a lot of inflammatory factors which can cause cardiovascular diseases.”
According to health experts and practitioners, people should get themselves measured annually to check whether they are building up dangerous fat around their body organs.
“Ideally an individual should have a piece of tape measuring half your height somewhere handy in the bathroom. If it fits snugly around your bare waist, you’re in a ‘healthy’ weight range. However, if it doesn’t, consider cutting down on the sugary snacks which probably caused your spare tyre and sensibly reduce your risk of any heart problem,” advises Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum.
“A larger waist measurement is often a sign that a person has too much visceral fat, which sits around our internal organs and impairs the way the heart and blood vessels function. People who carry more weight around their middle body have an increased risk of higher cholesterol, high blood pressure and even type 2 diabetes," said James Leiper, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation.