Does more leg fat protect women against heart attack and stroke?

Source: NHS News – Behind the Headlines

Follow this link for full text

Date of publication: July 2019

Publication type: News item

In a nutshell: Researchers looked at the body composition of 2,683 women in the US who were a healthy weight and had been through the menopause.

They found women who had a higher percentage of fat around their trunk were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women who had more fat on their legs, but less around their upper body.

Because of the nature of the study, we cannot be sure that body fat distribution directly caused the differences in risk of having a heart attack and stroke.

But previous studies have found people who are “apple-shaped” with more central body fat have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those who are “pear-shaped”.

Scientists think this may be because fat on the legs is a harmless way of storing energy, while fat around the abdominal organs may affect metabolism and put people at risk of diabetes.

Length of publication: 1 webpage

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS library if you cannot access the full text. Follow this link to find your local NHS library.

Acknowledgement:   NHS News – Behind the Headlines

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