A higher waist circumference and lower hip circumference are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, despite being directly correlated.
An international group of researchers led by Stefan Söderberg, Associate Professor at Umeå University, presents a study, which shows that the risk for premature death due to obesity is quite higher among people with narrow hips and greater waist.
The fat on the hips might even act as a protection against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. By studying the ratio between the waist- and hip circumferences in 8000 people on the island of Mauritius during 20 years, the researchers are first in the world to connect obesity with mortality in a south Asian population.
“The results mean that a person with wide hips and small waist are in the lower risk zone while the one with the narrow hips and higher waist circumference run a higher health risk,” Professor Söderberg explained in a press release. “Knowing the effect of hip fat, we have been able to isolate stomach fat, measured by the waist, as a conclusive health risk.” The study is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, and it is a collaboration between researchers in Australia, Sweden, Mauritius, Finland, England, and Denmark.