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Young, apparently healthy -- and at risk of heart disease
Date:10/24/2011

oung adults who don't meet traditional measures of obesity such as weight and BMI."

He says their message is that beyond simple weight and BMI, measures of fat hidden within (visceral fat) are greater predictors of atherosclerosis. The people with greater visceral fat will have greater atherosclerosis, even if they are young and apparently healthy − and could benefit from preventive lifestyle measures.

Dr. Larose adds that despite having normal weight and BMI, young adults with greater visceral fat have greater atherosclerosis burden, therefore greater risk for clinical events including heart attack and stroke in the long run. "We were encouraged to find that in this young and apparently healthy population, an easy way to measure risk in the doctor's office is through waist circumference," he says.

At any given BMI, an enlarged waist circumference measured with a simple tailor's ribbon was predictive of increased visceral adiposity and of premature atherosclerosis. The prediction of visceral adiposity and of atherosclerosis was almost as precise as by MRI.

Dr. Larose's study verifies earlier research that found that as many as 80 percent of young Americans killed in war or in car accidents had premature and subclinical (hidden) atherosclerosis.

The strength of the present findings is in measuring atherosclerosis in live individuals instead of waiting for an autopsy, and in finding a simple office-based solution in waist circumference.

These results may improve our ability to identify early individuals in need of more robust preventive support to slow the progression of their atherosclerosis.

Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in Canada, says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "Someone in this country dies from heart disease or stroke every seven minutes," she says. "The good news is that heart disease and stroke are largely preventable by undertaking h
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Contact: Amanda Bates
amanda@curvecommunications.com
604-306-0027
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Source:Eurekalert

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