Newswise — PITTSBURGH, March 3, 2021 – Ladies who expertise an accelerated accumulation of belly fats throughout menopause are at larger threat of coronary heart illness, even when their weight stays regular, in accordance with a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led evaluation printed at present within the journal Menopause.
The research—based mostly on 1 / 4 century of knowledge collected on tons of of girls—means that measuring waist circumference throughout preventive well being care appointments for midlife ladies could possibly be an early indicator of coronary heart illness threat past the extensively used physique mass index (BMI)—which is a calculation of weight vs. top.
“We have to shift gears on how we take into consideration coronary heart illness threat in ladies, notably as they strategy and undergo menopause,” mentioned senior creator Samar El Khoudary, Ph.D., M.P.H., affiliate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Well being. “Our analysis is more and more displaying that it isn’t so vital how a lot fats a girl is carrying, which docs usually measure utilizing weight and BMI, as it’s the place she is carrying that fats.”
El Khoudary and her colleagues checked out information on 362 ladies from Pittsburgh and Chicago who participated within the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Coronary heart research. The ladies, who have been a median age of 51, had their visceral adipose tissue—fats surrounding the belly organs—measured by CT scan and the thickness of the interior carotid artery lining of their neck measured by ultrasound, at a couple of factors in the course of the research. Carotid artery thickness is an early indicator of coronary heart illness.
The group discovered that for each 20% enhance in belly fats, the thickness of the carotid artery lining grew by 2% unbiased of general weight, BMI and different conventional threat elements for coronary heart illness.
In addition they discovered that belly fats began a steep acceleration, on common, inside two years earlier than the individuals’ final interval and continued a extra gradual development after the menopausal transition.
Saad Samargandy, Ph.D., M.P.H., who was a doctoral pupil at Pitt Public Well being on the time of the analysis, defined that fats that hugs the belly organs is said to larger secretion of poisonous molecules that may be dangerous to cardiovascular well being.
“Virtually 70% of post-menopausal ladies have central weight problems—or extreme weight of their mid-section,” mentioned Samargandy, additionally the primary creator of the journal article. “Our evaluation confirmed an accelerated enhance of visceral belly fats in the course of the menopausal transition of 8% per yr, unbiased of chronological growing older.”
Measuring belly fats by CT scan is dear, inconvenient and will unnecessarily expose ladies to radiation—so El Khoudary means that recurrently measuring and monitoring waist circumference could be a very good proxy to watch for accelerating will increase in belly fats. Measuring weight and BMI alone might miss belly fats development as a result of two ladies of the identical age could have the identical BMI however totally different distribution of fats of their physique, she added.
“Traditionally, there’s been a disproportionate emphasis on BMI and heart problems,” mentioned El Khoudary. “Via this long-running research, we’ve discovered a transparent hyperlink between development in belly fats and threat of heart problems that may be tracked with a measuring tape however could possibly be missed by calculating BMI. In the event you can establish ladies in danger, you may assist them modify their way of life and weight-reduction plan early to hopefully decrease that threat.”
Late final yr, El Khoudary led a group in publishing a brand new scientific statement for the American Heart Association that requires elevated consciousness of the cardiovascular and metabolic modifications distinctive to the menopausal transition and the significance of counseling ladies on early interventions to scale back heart problems threat elements.
El Khoudary famous that extra analysis is required to find out if sure weight-reduction plan, train or way of life interventions are simpler than others, in addition to whether or not there’s a clear cut-off level for when development in waist circumference turns into regarding for coronary heart illness threat.
Extra authors embrace Karen A. Matthews, Ph.D., Maria M. Brooks, Ph.D., Emma Barinas-Mitchell, Ph.D., and Jared W. Magnani, M.D., M.Sc., all of Pitt; and Imke Janssen, Ph.D., and Rasa Kazlauskaite, M.D., M.Sc., of Rush University.
This analysis was funded by National Institutes of Health grants U01NR004061, U01AG012505, U01AG012535, U01AG012531, U01AG012539, U01AG012546, U01AG012553, U01AG012554, U01AG012495, HL065581 and HL065591.
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