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This body type can increase heart attack risk among women, study says

There are several body types, but one can increase women’s heart attack risk, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from the University of Oxford recently conducted a study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, to determine if different body types were linked to cardiac arrest. 

To do so, they interviewed nearly 500,000 British adults, aged 40 to 69, from 2006 to 2010. They followed the individuals for seven years and measured their body mass index, waist circumference, waist‐to‐hip ratio, and waist‐to‐height ratio. 

After analyzing the results, they found that higher waist and hip measurements were more strongly associated with heart attack risk, especially for women. In fact, they believe more fat around the abdomen is a better heart attack predictor than overall obesity. It’s an 18 percent stronger indicator than body mass index for women and 6 percent stronger correlation for men. 

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"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)," lead author Sanne Peters said in a statement

Although they noted the differences in fat distribution between men and women can be attributed to sex hormones, “the potential sex differences in the functionality of each type” of fat has not been yet thoroughly explored.

That’s why they hope to continue their investigations to further examine how distinctions in men and women’s body compositions may expand their knowledge on other health conditions, especially among other age groups and races.

“Further disentangling the sexual dimorphism in adiposity,” the authors wrote, “will yield insights into the biological mechanisms and could inform sex‐specific interventions to treat and halt the obesity epidemic worldwide.”

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