According to a study published by a University in Pittsburgh Graduate of School of Public Health in the journal Menopause, women who have accumulation of abdominal fat during menopause are at greater risk of heart disease, even if their weight stays steady. This study collected data for the past 50 years on many women. The research indicates that measuring waist circumference during preventive health care appointments for midlife women could be a better early indicator of heart disease risk than weight or Body Mass Index that is calculating your weight versus your height (BMI). The researchers say that it isn’t how much fat the woman is carrying but where the fat is located. Abdominal fats lead to the risk of heart diseases.
Measuring abdominal fat by CT scan is expensive, inconvenient and could unnecessarily expose women to radiation. The lead researcher El Khoudary suggests that regularly measuring and tracking waist circumference would be a good substitute to monitor for accelerating increases in abdominal fat.
El Khoudary noted that more research is needed to determine if certain diet, exercise or lifestyle interventions are more effective than others, as well as whether there is a clear cut-off mark for when growth in waist circumference becomes concerning for heart disease risk.