Women with bigger waists relative to their hips are at more risk of heart attacks than men of a similar “apple shape”, research from the George Institute for Global Health says.
The study showed waist-to-hip ratio to be a better heart attack predictor than general obesity – 18% stronger than body mass index in women and 6% in men.
The report found a high BMI was linked to heart disease risk in both sexes.
The researchers interviewed nearly 500,000 UK adults aged 40 to 69.
The research has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and used the UK Biobank resource.
Dr Sanne Peters, the report’s lead author, from the institute, which is at the University of Oxford, said: “Our findings support the notion that having proportionally more fat around the abdomen (a characteristic of the apple shape) appears to be more hazardous than more visceral fat, which is generally stored around the hips (the pear shape).”
She said that “looking at how fat tissue is distributed in the body – especially in women – can give us more insight into the risk of heart attack than measures of general obesity”.
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