Taking 10 centimeters off the waistline increases the risk of death by 8%, according to a new study. Researchers explain why excess abdominal fat may be associated with a risk of early death.
We know that overweight and obesity increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, d’arterial hypertension, cholesterol or even cardiovascular illnesses. But what is less known is that the amount of abdominal fat is decisive. This is what a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Abdominal fat: it would increase the risk of premature death
The authors of this work analyzed 72 studies involving more than 2.5 million participants who were followed over a period of 3 to 24 years. They found that excess abdominal fat was associated with a higher risk of early death from any cause and regardless of the amount of fat overall body.
The study reveals that in women, each increase of 10 centimeters in the waist circumference could increase by 8% the risk of death. On the men’s side, take 10 centimeters of waist size could increase the risk of death by 12%. However, a turn of hip and large thigh was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.
Measuring abdominal fat to assess the risk of premature death?
If the excess of abdominal fat seems so dangerous, it is in particular because it is correlated with what is called the visceral fat. This type of fat located in the belly is different from that found in the small bulge. And for good reason: it is deep and settles around the organs. Ultimately, it can therefore alter their functioning.
This study, which points to the risks associated with excess fat installed in the belly, suggests that “Abdominal fat measurements could be used as an additional approach, in combination with body mass index (BMI), to determine the risk of premature death”, conclude the authors.
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