Text Belly Fat Beer belly or muffin top seems to be a major threat for coronary artery disease patients. A Mayo Clinic study suggests that people with coronary artery disease who have belly fat are at a greater risk of dying. The study findings apparently have major implications in the medical world.

During the study, data from a total of 15,923 people suffering from coronary artery disease was evaluated. It was then pointed out that coronary artery disease patients with central obesity have up to twice the chances of dying. This may be equivalent to the risk of smoking a pack of cigarettes per day or having very high cholesterol, particularly for men. The study results contradict the commonly held belief that a higher BMI and chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease raises survival odds.

“We suspected that the obesity paradox was happening because BMI is not a good measure of body fatness and gives no insight into the distribution of fat. BMI is just a measure of weight in proportion to height. What seems to be more important is how the fat is distributed on the body,” shared Thais Coutinho, M.D., the study’s lead author and a cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic.

Visceral fat, believed to be more metabolically active allegedly produces more changes in cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. Those who have visceral fat in other locations of the body specifically, the legs and buttocks, may not have the threat of dying. It was suggested that physicians can counsel coronary artery disease patients to lose weight in case they have a large waist circumference or a high waist-to-hip ratio.

The study is published in the May 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.