Health Tip: Waist Size May Help Predict Heart Attack

Your waist size, especially if you're a woman, might predict your risk of a heart attack, the American Heart Association says.

British researchers writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association recently reported that women who have bigger waists -- relative to their hips -- are at greater risk of heart attack than men with a similar body shape.

The study examined nearly half a million men and women between the ages of 40 and 69 in the U.K. with no history of heart disease. Women with a high waist-to-hip ratio had a 15 percent higher risk of heart attacks than men with a similar waist-to-hip distribution.

Study results also suggest that measuring waistline size and comparing it to hip size might be a better way to predict heart disease risk than the widely used body mass index, which calculates body fat based on a person's height and weight.


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