Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Waist Size Predicts Heart Disease Danger

Large Waistline Measurement a Sign of Insulin Resistance in Men and Women

Waist Under 39 Inches? Risks Remain for Many

Wang notes that insulin resistance isn't the real problem. The real problem is heart disease. And one reason why insulin resistance is so dangerous is that it's part of a group of risk factors called the metabolic syndrome. Those risk factors are high blood-fat levels (triglycerides), low levels of HDL "good" cholesterol, very high levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol, high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, and clotting abnormalities.

Though Wahrenberg finds that a 39-inch waistline is the cutoff for insulin resistance in both men and women, other dangerous factors may be brewing at smaller waistlines. This appears particularly true for women.

Current guidelines say that a high risk of heart disease and stroke starts when men's waistlines reach 40 inches and women's waistlines reach 34.65 inches.

Wang's recent studies suggest that even these cutoffs may be too high. His work suggests that men already are at risk of heart disease and stroke when their waistlines reach 37.4 inches.

1|2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
 
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
red wine
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW