Big Bellies Tied to Heart Disease

Adam's Apple

Senior Member
Apr 25, 2004
Big Bellies Tied to Heart Disease

The more your belly sticks out, the greater your risk of developing heart disease, a new study shows.

"The message is really obesity in the abdomen matters even more than obesity overall," Dr. Carlos Iribarren of Kaiser Permanente of Northern California in Oakland, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

Body mass index (BMI), a gauge of weight in relation to height, is a fairly crude way to judge a person's heart disease risk based on obesity, he noted. For example, muscular people may have a high BMI and be perfectly healthy.

In the current study, Iribarren and his team looked at 101,765 men and women who underwent checkups between 1965 and 1970, which included SAD measurements, and were then followed for about 12 years.

Men with the largest SAD were 42 percent more likely to develop heart disease during follow-up compared to those with the smallest SAD, while a large SAD increased heart disease risk by 44 percent for women, Iribarren and his team found.

Within BMI categories, the researchers found, heart disease risk rose with SAD; even among men of normal weight, heart disease risk was higher for those with bigger bellies.

The relationship between SAD and heart disease risk was strongest among the youngest men and women, which is not surprising, Iribarren said, given that people who develop central obesity younger in life would likely have more serious problems.

"I think it has important implications for prevention," he said. " Don't let this happen to you when you're young; that's kind of the message."

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, December 15, 2006.
© Reuters 2006.
Storing up heart problems?...
Unhappy childhood linked to heart risk in later life
1 February 2013 - Emotional behaviour in childhood may be linked with heart disease in middle age, especially in women, research suggests.
A study found being prone to distress at the age of seven was associated with a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. Conversely children who were better at paying attention and staying focused had reduced heart risk when older. The US researchers said more work was needed to understand the link. Their study looked at 377 adults who had taken part in research as children. At seven they had undergone several tests to look at emotional behaviour. They compared the results from this with a commonly used risk score for cardiovascular disease of participants now in their early 40s.

After controlling for other factors which might influence heart disease risk, they found that high levels of distress at age seven were associated with a 31% increased risk of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged women. For men with high levels of distress in childhood - which included being easily frustrated and quick to anger - the increased risk of cardiovascular disease was 17%. For 40-year-olds who had been prone to distress as a child, the chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years increased from 3.2% to 4.2% for women and 7.3 to 8.5% for men.


The researchers also looked at positive emotional factors such as having a good attention span and found this was linked with better cardiovascular health, although to a lesser degree. Other studies have linked adversity in childhood with cardiovascular disease in adults. And research in adults as linked poor emotional wellbeing with higher levels of cardiovascular disease, the researchers pointed out in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Study leader Dr Allison Appleton, said more research would now be needed to work out the biological mechanism that may underpin the finding. "We know that persistent distress can cause dysregulation of the stress response and that is something we want to look at." Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said it was already known that a child's health could often have a bearing on their future wellbeing.

But she added that more research was needed before it could be clear that any possible link existed between emotions in childhood and the risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. "There are positive steps parents can take to protect their child's future heart health. "What we learn when we're young can often set the tone for our habits later in life, so teaching children about physical activity and a balanced diet is a great place to start."

BBC News - Unhappy childhood linked to heart risk in later life
Mummies had clogged arteries...
Study: Even ancient mummies had clogged arteries
Mar 10,`13 -- Even without modern-day temptations like fast food or cigarettes, people had clogged arteries some 4,000 years ago, according to the biggest-ever study of mummies searching for the condition.
Researchers say that suggests heart disease may be more a natural part of human aging rather than being directly tied to contemporary risk factors like smoking, eating fatty foods and not exercising. CT scans of 137 mummies showed evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries, in one third of those examined, including those from ancient people believed to have healthy lifestyles. Atherosclerosis causes heart attacks and strokes. More than half of the mummies were from Egypt while the rest were from Peru, southwest America and the Aleutian islands in Alaska. The mummies were from about 3800 B.C. to 1900 A.D. "Heart disease has been stalking mankind for over 4,000 years all over the globe," said Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City and the paper's lead author. The mummies with clogged arteries were older at the time of their death, around 43 versus 32 for those without the condition. In most cases, scientists couldn't say whether the heart disease killed them.

The study results were announced Sunday at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco and simultaneously published online in the journal Lancet. Thompson said he was surprised to see hardened arteries even in people like the ancient Aleutians who were presumed to have a healthy lifestyle as hunter-gatherers. "I think it's fair to say people should feel less guilty about getting heart disease in modern times," he said. "We may have oversold the idea that a healthy lifestyle can completely eliminate your risk." Thompson said there could be unknown factors that contributed to the mummies' narrowed arteries. He said the Ancestral Puebloans who lived in underground caves in modern-day Colorado and Utah, used fire for heat and cooking, producing a lot of smoke. "They were breathing in a lot of smoke and that could have had the same effect as cigarettes," he said.

Previous studies have found evidence of heart disease in Egyptian mummies, but the Lancet paper is the largest survey so far and the first to include mummies elsewhere in the world. Dr. Frank Ruehli of the University of Zurich, who runs the Swiss Mummy Project, said it was clear atherosclerosis was notably present in antiquity and agreed there might be a genetic predisposition to the disease. "Humans seem to have a particular vulnerability (to heart disease) and it will be interesting to see what genes are involved," he said. Ruehli was not connected to the study. "This is a piece in the puzzle that may tell us something important about the evolution of disease." Other experts warned against reading too much into the mummy data.

Dr. Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation said calcified arteries could also be caused by other ailments including endocrine disorders and that it was impossible tell from the CT scans if the types of calcium deposits in the mummies were the kind that would have sparked a heart attack or stroke. "It's a fascinating study but I'm not sure we can say atherosclerosis is an inevitable part of aging," he said, citing the numerous studies that have showed strong links between lifestyle factors and heart disease. Researcher Thompson advised people to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, noting that the risk of heart disease could be reduced with good eating habits, not smoking and exercising. "We don't have to end up like the mummies," he said.


See also:

Studies tie stress from storms, war to heart risks
Mar 10,`13 -- Stress does bad things to the heart. New studies have found higher rates of cardiac problems in veterans with PTSD, New Orleans residents six years after Hurricane Katrina and Greeks struggling through that country's financial turmoil.
Disasters and prolonged stress can raise "fight or flight" hormones that affect blood pressure, blood sugar and other things in ways that make heart trouble more likely, doctors say. They also provoke anger and helplessness and spur heart-harming behaviors like eating or drinking too much. "We're starting to connect emotions with cardiovascular risk markers" and the new research adds evidence of a link, said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association spokeswoman. She had no role in the studies, which were discussed Sunday at an American College of Cardiology conference in San Francisco.

The largest, involving 207,954 veterans in California and Nevada ages 46 to 74, compared those with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, to those without it. They were free of major heart disease and diabetes when researchers checked their Veterans Administration medical records from 2009 and 2010. Checked again about two years later, 35 percent of those with PTSD but only 19 percent of those without it had developed insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes and hardening of the arteries. Doctors also saw higher rates of metabolic syndrome - a collection of heart disease risk factors that include high body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. About 53 percent of veterans with PTSD but only 37 percent of those without it had several of these symptoms.

The numbers are estimates and are not as important as the trend - more heart risk with more stress, said one study leader, Dr. Ramin Ebrahimi, a cardiologist at the Greater Los Angeles VA Medical Center and a professor at UCLA. It shows that PTSD can cause physical symptoms, not just the mental ones commonly associated with it. "Twenty or 30 years ago PTSD was a term reserved for combat veterans. We have come to realize now that PTSD is actually a much more common disorder and it can happen in veterans who did not undergo combat but had a very traumatic experience" such as losing a friend, he said.

That goes for others who suffer trauma such as being raped, robbed at gunpoint or in a serious accident, he said. Nearly 8 million Americans have PTSD, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates. They include survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Tulane Medical Center doctors led a study of their hospital's patients that suggests heart attack incidence is three times higher in New Orleans than it was in the two years before the 2005 storm.

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Man. These studies are pointing out the obvious. If someone is over weight, they are less healthy. That's common sense. lol. They spent all that time with a study and they just could have asked me. lol.
The correlation between big bellies and heart disease is nothing new. I've been reading about this for years, that being overweight is a factor, but WHERE you carry your weight is a big factor as well.

Oh...I just realized the study posted here is from 2006! : ) I rest my case. : )
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Granny says, "Dat's right - eat yer breakfast...
Skipping breakfast may increase heart attack risk
22 July — Another reason to eat breakfast: Skipping it may increase your chances of a heart attack.
A study of older men found those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of a heart attack than those who ate a morning meal. There's no reason why the results wouldn't apply to other people, too, the Harvard researchers said. Other studies have suggested a link between breakfast and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other health problems seen as precursors to heart problem. "But no studies looked at long-term risk of heart attack," said Eric Rimm, one of the study authors at the Harvard School of Public Health. Why would skipping breakfast be a heart attack risk?

Experts aren't certain, but here's what they think: People who don't eat breakfast are more likely to be hungrier later in the day and eat larger meals. Those meals mean the body must process a larger amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. That can spike sugar levels in the blood and perhaps lead to clogged arteries. But is a stack of syrupy pancakes, greasy eggs and lots of bacon really better than eating nothing? The researchers did not ask what the study participants ate for breakfast, and were not prepared to pass judgment on whether a fatty, sugary breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.

Other experts agreed that it's hard to say. "We don't know whether it's the timing or content of breakfast that's important. It's probably both," said Andrew Odegaard, a University of Minnesota researcher who has studied a link between skipping breakfast and health problems like obesity and high blood pressure. "Generally, people who eat breakfast tend to eat a healthier diet," he added. The new research was released Monday by the journal Circulation. It was an observational study, so it's not designed to prove a cause and effect. But when done well, such studies can reveal important health risks. The researchers surveyed nearly 27,000 men about their eating habits in 1992. About 13 percent of them said they regularly skipped breakfast. They all were educated health professionals — like dentists and veterinarians — and were at least 45.

Over the next 16 years, 1,527 suffered fatal or non-fatal heart attacks, including 171 who had said they regularly skipped breakfast. In other words, over 7 percent of the men who skipped breakfast had heart attacks, compared to nearly 6 percent of those who ate breakfast. The researchers calculated the increased risk at 27 percent, taking into account other factors like smoking, drinking, diet and health problems like high blood pressure and obesity. As many as 18 percent of U.S. adults regularly skip breakfast, according to federal estimates. So the study could be important news for many, Rimm said. "It's a really simple message," he said. "Breakfast is an important meal."

Skipping breakfast may increase heart attack risk
Are big bellies directly related to heart attacks or do most people who die of heart attacks have big bellies? Government grants will get you any statistic that you are willing to pay for. I bet studies would find that people who die of heart attacks ate carrots.
Are big bellies directly related to heart attacks or do most people who die of heart attacks have big bellies? Government grants will get you any statistic that you are willing to pay for. I bet studies would find that people who die of heart attacks ate carrots.

There is substantial evidence to indicate that belly fat is much worse than say ass fat. Two people, same sex, same height, same weight, but one has most of his excess fat in his ass and the other has most of his excess fat in his belly, it has been shown that the one with most of the excess fat in the belly is at much greater risk of heart disease than the guy with the ass fat.

In the end though, if you're carrying around extra body fat, it's not a good thing. It makes our heart work that much harder and usually is a sign of clogged arteries. While we can't force people to live healthy lives, we should do everything we can to encourage them to do so.

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