Top Form Tuesday: Reduce Your Waistline To Reduce Your Heart Risk and Reduce Your Hypertention to Control Your Waistline

The fact of the matter is, your weight and your waist size does matter. So measuring your waist and making sure you reduce your abdominal fat will improve your health. Some gynos will quote the left hand washes the right, others will refer to the chicken and the egg problem, and still others will refer to hand in glove. Whatever your metaphor is the message is simple: cardiovascular factors and obesity are linked in exactly that way. The importance of obesity as a heart risk factor was demonstrated in the prospective cohort Nurses' Health Study of over 115,000 middle-aged women.  Body weight and death rates are directly related, so the message is slim that waistline.  Your waistline is the critical factor and those who have the so called apple shape of abdominal obesity (waist-hip ratio of above 0.9) are more likely to suffer from severe medical complications of heart disease. In a recent report in  Managed Healthcare Executive they point out that the increase in risk is also seen with increasing waist lines within the "normal" range, but is most dramatic if you are obese. Those with the greatest waist lines are at the most risk in spite of any levels of exercise and other markers of physical fitness. For each increase in body weight of approximately 1 kg the risk of coronary mortality increased by 1 to 1.5 percent, and it is recommended that all women reduce their waist circumference less than 35 inches. Those who are obese and who have waist lines over the recommended range are also at risk for the underlying cause for heart disease and stroke: which is hypertension (high blood pressure).  Those who have large waistlines need more pressure to circulate the blood and thus they get hypertension. If you reduce your waistline your blood pressure will reduce as well. Waistline control thus has the ability to reduce the need for blood pressure medication.  Although gynecologists talk about ovarian cancer as a silent killer, this label can be given to hypertension as well, as almost 20% of people do not know they have it. A new group is trying to get the word out to both patients and their gynos (and other doctors too!) through a campaign to get the blood pressure measured in all those who may be at risk.

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