Someone with a lot of belly fat has a higher risk of death than those who are obese, a new study suggests.
"We knew from previous research that central obesity is bad, but what is new in this research is that the distribution of the fat is very important even in people with a normal weight," said Dr. Francisco LopezJimenez, senior author and a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, in a statement.
The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference this year.
The researchers looked at almost 13,000 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information on size, weight, circumference and other data were measured against death data.
Those who had normal BMI but a lot of belly fat had the highest risk of death from all causes. The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 higher and death from all causes was more than two times higher compared to those with normal BMI and normal amounts of belly fat.