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June 2009 Issue

Waist Circumference Predictive of Heart Failure

The bigger your waist, the higher your risk of developing heart failure. Researchers who analyzed data from nearly 80,000 women and men age 45 to 83 discovered that those with larger waists had a higher incidence of heart failure, a condition in which an insufficient amount of blood is pumped from the heart, allowing fluid and blood to back up into the lungs and/or a buildup of fluid in the feet and legs. Specifically, in women and men with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 (the lowest end of the overweight range), a waist circumference increase of 10 centimeters (cm) was linked to a 15 and 16 percent higher risk of heart failure, respectively.

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