If you are an older woman, the risk of heart disease may be affected by the shape of your body.
Researchers say that if you look more like an apple than a pear, the risk of heart problems increases. more if you have normal weight.
It is interesting that women who carried their weight in the legs had a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, the authors added, although the study did not find a causal link.
"Our findings indicate that women in postmenopausal women, despite their normal weight, may be at a different risk of cardiovascular disease, because the fat is distributed around the middle or around the leg," says the author. Qibin Qi, Associate Professor at Albert Einstein Medical School in New York.
The researchers collected data on nearly 162,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women's Health Study from 1993 to 1998. Women were observed until February 2017.
Investigators found that women whose fat was mostly stored in the center (in the form of apples) had almost twice the risk of heart disease or stroke compared to women whose weight was stored in the legs.
On the other hand, this risk was 40 percent lower in women whose weight was mostly in the legs than in women who had the lowest weight in their legs.
The highest risk of heart disease was among women with the highest fat content in the middle and the smallest in the legs. In fact, the risk was more than three times the risk of women with the least body fat and fat in their legs, scientists say.
Apart from weight, people have to pay attention to where weight is, Qi said.
Researchers have calculated that if 1,000 women in the study reduced abdominal fat by more than 37 percent to less than 27 percent, but their fat in the foot remains the same, fewer than six cases of cardiovascular disease occur every year.
And if 1,000 women in the study kept their abdominal fat equal and increased fat in the legs with less than 42 percent to more than 49 percent, three cases of cardiovascular disease would be prevented annually.
However, Qi warned that the results could not be applied to younger women or men because research was conducted on postmenopausal women.
The report was published on July 1 in the European Heart Journal.
For more information about weight and health, visit the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood.
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