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A Little Fat in Belly can Double the Risk of Death in Coronary Artery Disease Patients

One of the largest studies of its kind has found that people with coronary artery disease who have even a modest beer belly or muffin top are at higher risk for death than people whose fat collects elsewhere. The effect was observed even in patients with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI).

The findings of this Mayo Clinic analysis are published in the May 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Research Methodology
Researchers analyzed data from 15,923 people with coronary artery disease involved in five studies from around the world. They found that those with coronary artery disease and central obesity, measured by waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, have up to twice the risk of dying. That is equivalent to the risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day or having very high cholesterol, particularly for men.

This type of fat may be more harmful for Coronary Artery Disease patients! “Visceral fat has been found to be more metabolically active. It produces more changes in cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. However, people who have fat mostly in other locations in the body, specifically, the legs and buttocks, don’t show this increased risk.”

The researchers say physicians should counsel coronary artery disease patients who have normal BMIs to lose weight if they have a large waist circumference or a high waist-to-hip ratio. The measure is very easy to use, Dr. Coutinho says: “All it takes is a tape measure and one minute of a physician’s time to measure the perimeter of a patient’s waist and hip.”

About Coronary Artery Disease Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is also called as Coronary Heart Disease, is a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), calcium, and other substances found in the blood.

CAD is the most common type of heart disease.  It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. Lifestyle changes, medicines, and/or medical procedures like CABG, PTCA etc can effectively prevent or treat CAD in most people.

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