How Belly Fat Damages Your Heart and Shortens Your Life


One of the biggest indicators that could determine one’s overall health condition is one’s body structure.

As much as we want to embrace our growing figures and ballooning weight, these are actual indicators of a serious and hidden health problem. One important sign that shows you are high at risk for chronic diseases particularly heart diseases is your belly fat.


Several medical journals and research studies have shown the surprisingly strong link between belly fat and the risk of developing heart diseases in later life. It is reported that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the US every year which counts for 1 in every deaths.

It has been confirmed that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women with more than half of the deaths due to heart diseases. According to a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging, there are to types of fat found in the abdomen. The subcutaneous fat is the fat that is found directly under the skin while the visceral fat lies deep within the abdomen which surrounds the body organs.

Research suggests that deep belly fat has been known to more harmful linking visceral fat to serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

According to the study conducted by the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (META) it has been found that people with a great amount of visceral fat or fat found deep within their belly had greater risk of developing more heart diseases. The amount of results into three things: inflammation, insulin resistance and hardening of the arteries.

Too much fat in the belly could cause chronic inflammation which damages the heart’s cells, valves and the inside lining of the arteries. This will eventually result in the development of high blood pressure and worse congestive heart failure. Research also indicates the development of age related diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes and even cancer.






The most common diseases associated with insulin resistance is diabetes. Despite the fact that the pancreas may produce insulin despite having extra pads of fat in your abdomen, it is not used efficiently. And the worst effect of having excess belly fat is the development or the worsening of atherosclerosis.

The study was conducted by following more than 1,500 individuals. At the start of the study researchers measured the amount of belly fat in each participant using CT scans and followed them for three years to determine any development of any metabolic risk factors.

It was later found that people with deep belly fat were significantly more likely to have greater heart risks compared to those with no belly fat. This goes to show that individuals who may be of the same height yet different in weight and amount of belly fat is a big difference.


And although smoking may be regarded as one of the leading causes of death in the country, it is now the same as heart failure.

“We’re not sure what’s mediating it, But abdominal obesity is much more inflammatory, much worse than general obesity.”

Dr. Selcuk Adabag an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota said during an interview about the study.





“There’s no easy answer. You have to make a significant effort to reduce your cardiac risk by weight loss, diet and exercise.”

Learn more about your risk of developing heart diseases with these view from the experts in the field:



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