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Waistline, cholesterol predict heart disease risk

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals with a larger waistline may benefit from cholesterol testing, as a new study has found that extra fat around the midsection and high triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease.

A team of researchers from the University of Amsterdam tracked the medical records of 21,787 study participants for nearly 10 years. Their report, which was published in the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, notes that waistline had been suggested as a predictor of heart disease, but the correlation had never been confirmed.

They found that men who had the largest waistline and highest triglyceride levels were 2.5 times more likely to develop heart disease than those with healthy measurements. The risk increased for women by nearly four times.

"We are suggesting that this is a new phenomenon beyond the metabolic syndrome that can identify individuals at increased risk of heart disease who may fall through the net if we just use traditional risk factors," lead investigator Jean Pierre Despres told Heartwire.

The report suggests that doctors take these factors into consideration when they are evaluating a patient's risk for heart disease.

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