(MedPage Today) Carrying too much weight in the belly -- having an apple shape -- may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, researchers found.
In a cohort study, the risk of sudden cardiac death increased along with waist-to-hip ratio (P=0.009 for trend), according to Selcuk Adabag, MD… After accounting for numerous obesity-related comorbidities, however, other measures of obesity -- body mass index and waist circumference -- were not related to the risk of sudden cardiac death, Adabag reported at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting here.
Obesity "is a root cause of problems," he said in an interview. "People, particularly physicians, need to be paying attention to weight gain and should actively work on reducing weight."
The findings of the current study could be incorporated into the counseling that physicians give to patients, he said, although waist-to-hip ratio is not often measured in the clinic and the public is not as familiar with that index of obesity as it is with BMI.
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