"The study makes good sense to me," said Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "They are putting a quantifiable measurement on something we've known for some time -- that people with upper-body obesity are at heightened risk of cardiovascular disease."
The obese body comes in two forms, Garratt said: pear-shaped, with most of the excess weight around the hips; and apple-shaped, with most of the weight in the upper part of the body.
"People with most of the weight in the upper part of the body have more cardiovascular disease," Garratt said. "It appears to be that certain kinds of metabolic abnormalities contribute to the atherothrombotic risk."
But no matter where the excess fat is located, it's best to lose it, he said.
"Everybody who has a body-mass index over 25 increases the risk of coronary events, regardless of where they are carrying their weight," Garratt said.
The American Heart Association has more on the risks of obesity.
SOURCES: Gregg Fonarow, M.D., professor, medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Kirk Garratt, M.D., clinical director, interventional cardiovascular research, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; March 11, 2009, presentation, American Heart Association's Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention annual conference, Palm Harbor, Fla.
All rights reserved