London, Apr 9 (UNI) What makes your ''ugly jelly belly'' uglier? A new study warning that belly fat increase the risk premature death in women.
According to researchers, women who pack weight around their waists instead of on their buttocks and thighs had twice the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease and a 63 per cent greater chance of dying of cancer compared with women with smaller waists.
The study of 44,636 women published in the journal Circulation found that women with the largest waists -- 35 inches or greater -- had a 79 per cent higher chance of premature death compared with women whose waists measured 28 inches or less. The risk was adjusted for multiple health factors.
The findings add to the growing evidence that belly fat could pose serious health risks, even for those who are not obese and had normal weight.
Previous researchers have detected a link between abdominal fat and the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease and even dementia in old age.
According to researchers, the results gave a message that people should watch their waist circumference as well as the scale.
''People can be very comfortable with their weight and not be aware that due to their waist circumference they are at increased risk,'' they said.
Lead author Cuilin Zhang said abdominal fat exposed nearby organs to potentially toxic chemicals produced by the fat.
Fat that collects on the buttocks and thighs may be less hazardous because it was more distant from the liver, pancreas and other abdominal organs, she said.
Researchers also wanted to identify genes or other factors that caused people to accumulate belly fat.
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