Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pot-belly can increase chances of heart attack

Having a pot-belly can put you at risk of getting a heart attack. Large waist measurements relative to hip size, were linked to early signs of heart disease, researchers from the University of Texas found after studying 2,744 people.

The study looked at people who had undergone medical tests and imaging scans to identify the early signs of atherosclerosis — the narrowing and hardening of the arteries linked to the development of cardiovascular disease, reported BBC News.

Researches found that adding a few inches to the waist increased the risk of damage in the arteries even if body weight remained within the normal range.

The study suggests that a waist size of 32 inches (81 cm) for a woman and 37 inches (94 cm) for a man represents a "significant" raised risk.