Although obesity has long been known to be a risk factor for heart disease, several studies have found that a high body mass index is actually associated with a lower risk of dying from heart ailments. However, according to a new analysis, the apparent paradox may be explained by the simple fact that BMI is a very flawed measurement.
The study revealed that waist size provides a far more accurate way to predict a heart patient's chances of dying at an early age from a heart attack or other causes.
"As in previous studies, a high BMI was associated with a lower risk of death. But researchers found that heart patients with a high ratio of waist-to-hip circumference or a large waist size -- greater than 35 inches for women, or 40 inches for men -- were 70 percent more likely to die during the study period than those with smaller waists. The combination of a large waist and a high BMI upped the risk of death even more."