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The researchers found individuals who were “skinny” according to BMI, but had an abnormal distribution of fat (waist larger than hips), were 4-5 times more likely to die long-term than individuals who were a little bit overweight, but had a normal distribution of fat (waist smaller than hips).
“We believe these findings might change the way we assess obesity in the clinical practice when we see individuals with heart disease,” says Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez. “A single measurement, just weighing patients, is not enough to separate their risk of death by high, low, or very low.”
The study, presented today at the 2012 American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session & Expo, looked at 15,000 coronary artery disease patients from 3 different continents, and was designed to learn the affect that distribution of body fat has on overall mortality risk. It marks the first time physicians have been able separate patients according to their mortality risk based solely on body weight and distribution of fat.
Soundbites from Dr. Lopez-Jimenez are available in the downloads above.
Expert Title: Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Mayo Clinic Cardiologist
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