COVID-19 Information Center: get the latest on vaccines, testing, screening, visitor policy and post-COVID support >>
That extra weight you’re carrying around your waist could put you at an increased risk for heart attack.
Recent studies indicate women who carry more weight around their belly are at greater risk for heart attack than women who carry their weight elsewhere.
The American Heart Association reported that one study, which followed more than 2,500 postmenopausal women with a body mass index (BMI) that puts them in the normal-weight category, showed women who carried fat around their belly were three times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than women who carried fat mostly in their legs.
The study suggested that a healthy BMI alone is not enough to determine overall health and made a strong case for getting rid of that belly fat.
Fat stored around your belly is of particular concern because it often includes an increase in visceral fat, which is the type of fat that encases your organs. This type of fat has been linked to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol.
How can you tell if you are carrying too much belly fat? Mayo Clinic recommends simply measuring your waistline with a measuring tape. For women, a measurement greater than 35 inches indicates an unhealthy amount of belly fat.
The good news is you can get rid of some of that belly fat by making some simple changes:
Know your risk for heart disease. Take a free, 5-minute test that could save your life.
Your heart is in good hands when you choose us for cardiovascular care. Learn more about our high-quality heart care.
Learn more from Healthy Driven Chicago:
Eight small changes anyone can make
Seven tips to improve your fitness
Five ways to get a healthier meal on the table faster
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.