Fat Hurts and Helps
While obesity increases the odds of heart failure, it also appears to reduce the risk of death and other associated problems based on results from a study conducted by researchers at the University of California - Los Angeles. Scientists determined the body mass index (BMI) of around 2,700 people with heart failure and 469 had their belly circumference measured. A BMI of 25 or higher and a waist circumference of at least 40 inches and 37 inches in men and women, respectively, were categorized as high. Men and women with normal BMIs were at an increased risk for poor outcomes by 34 and 38 percent, respectively. Researchers believe that more muscle mass, more metabolic reserves from fat tissue and more anti-inflammatory lipoproteins may explain what is known as the "obesity paradox."