For elderly women, the location of body fat is more important than total fat amount in predicting future heart attacks, according to researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and colleagues.
"In the over-70 age group, overall obesity did not predict heart attack risk," said Barbara J. Nicklas, Ph.D., lead researcher. "It didnt matter how much fat the older woman had – what mattered was where that fat was stored."
The researchers found that intra-abdominal fat, or fat stored in and around the internal organs, is most predictive of heart attack risk. The results are reported in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. "People with higher levels of intra-abdominal fat tend to be apple-shaped rather than pear-shaped" Nicklas said. "As we age, fat gets stored in the abdomen more than anywhere else, which isnt good because its now associated with heart attacks. The best way to lose that fat is to lose overall body fat through exercise and diet."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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