Islamabad, July 2: A study of a large group of women who have been through menopause, researchers have analysed that cardiovascular risk is linked to body shape, which is a result of how fat is distributed in the entire body.
Old studies have shown that a person’s body mass index (BMI), calculated in reference to their total weight and height, is linked with the risk of going through cardiovascular events. Hence, the higher a person’s BMI, the higher their risk of experiencing stroke and heart disease.
New research, conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York, NY, points to another main factor, such as, where fat is mainly stored in the body — for women over the age of 50.
The new study — the results of which have appeared in a European Heart Journal— has checked data from 161,808 women aged 50–79 to investigate whether BMI or fat distribution was associated with cardiovascular risk.
All of the participating women had enrolled themselves in the Women’s Health Initiative between 1993 and 1998. Follow-up information on the participants’ health was available from that period to the end of February 2017.
None of these participating women had cardiovascular disease at the start of the study. 291 new cases of cardiovascular disease were however discovered after the start of the study.
During the study, the officials took measurements of the body fat mass through a new procedure which is dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, a scan that measures a person’s fat, muscle, and bone density.
The team saw a pattern. Women with the highest amount of fat stored around their middles had the highest risk of cardiovascular disease.
These women had three times the risk of cardiovascular disease then their peers with a low amount of fat around their middles and a higher amount of fat around the legs: the “pear” shape.
However, women with the most body fat around their middles had double the risk of experiencing heart attacks or stroke, compared with the top 25% of women with the least body fat around their middles.