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04-25-2017 | Obesity | News

News in brief

More evidence for dangers of central obesity

medwireNews: Research in the Annals of Internal Medicine adds some support to the notion that central obesity, rather than obesity per se, is a driver of poor health outcomes.

Weight data, obtained at a single timepoint from 42,702 people in the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey, showed central obesity to be associated with overall and cardiovascular mortality, even in people with a healthy body mass index (BMI).

A total of 28.7% of participants with a normal BMI had central obesity, defined as a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.85 or higher in women and 0.90 or higher in men, and these people had significant 22% and 25% increases in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, respectively.

Central obesity also significantly worsened outcomes for participants in other BMI categories (except all-cause mortality in overweight people); however, in the absence of central obesity, being overweight or obese did not increase participants’ mortality risk relative to being normal weight.

Overall, normal-weight people with central obesity fared as badly as or worse than people with higher BMIs, which Emmanuel Stamatakis (University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) and study co-authors suggest could be because “overweight and obese persons have greater amounts of subcutaneous fat in the hips and legs—that is, fat linked to healthier metabolic profiles.”

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group