Waistlines offer more clues than body mass index on heart risk

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The larger the waistline, the greater the chance of heart failure, says study of 200 patients. (WPVI)

The size of your waist could help predict the chances for heart failure better than looking at body weight or the body mass index.

So says a study presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Maryland and Intermountain Medical Center in Utah followed 200 men and women with diabetes.

They have a greater risk for heart disease, however none in those in the study had symptoms.

Doctors found the greater the waist size, the more problems with the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle.

And that can lead to heart disease and heart failure.

This research echoes the findings of other showing that fat in the abdominal area poses a greater risk than fat in the hips and thighs, that having an apple-shaped body is more dangerous than being pear-shaped.

Although the study looked at people with diabetes, the advice is the same for everyone.

For women, you want to your waist size to be less than 35 inches. For men, less than 40 inches.

The best way to do this is with diet and exercise.

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