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Weight and Obesity

Apple-Shaped People at Increased Risk of Sudden Death

6 years, 8 months ago

1465  0
Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 6 a.m.

People who tend to carry excess weight around their middle have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, say researchers.

Apple-shaped people are at increased risk of sudden cardiac death, so says associate professor of medicine Dr. Selcuk Adabag from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Adabag studied data obtained from more than 15,000 people who were involved in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, 300 of which died from sudden cardiac death (defined as death that occurs within an hour of initial symptoms). After accounting for age, sex, race, education, smoking status, and family history of heart disease, Adabag found that body-mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, were all linked to sudden cardiac death. However, after factoring in obesity-related comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, and a high LDL cholesterol level, the only factor that remained linked to sudden cardiac death was elevated waist-to-hip ratio. Although why storing fat around the middle should increase the risk of sudden cardiac death is not clear, Adabag hypothesizes that the increased risk is due to the inflammatory substances secreted by abdominal fat.

Selcuk Adabag, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Minnesota, and cardiac electrophysiologist, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis. Heart Rhythm Society, annual meeting, May 9, 2012, Boston.

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