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Can Belly Fat Cause Strokes

Reducing Belly FatCan belly fat cause strokes? The answer is yes,  a higher number of people with belly fat or the rubber tire around the waist will experience a stroke prematurely. This situation affects both women and men, which is a surprising data point, since previously it was thought that women did not succumb to strokes at the same level as men do. That tell-tale sign of a large belly is a quite reminder that you have increased the odds that you could have a stroke in the near future.

The following are excerpts from an article written by Charlene Laino and reviewed by Louise Chang, MD at WebMD Health News. We will continue our portion of this post after the article from Charlene Laino.

Belly Fat Cause Strokes

Quote ” Feb. 25, 2010 (San Antonio) — The midlife gender gap in stroke rates continues to widen, with women aged 45 to 54 now three times more likely than men in that age group to report having had a stroke.

Several years ago, the same researchers reported that between 1999 and 2004, women aged 45 to 54 were more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to have had a stroke.

The findings created a stir in the medical community as middle-aged women before menopause have long been thought to be protected against heart disease.

So what’s driving this disturbing trend? Then, like now, tummy fat appears to be to blame, says Amytis Towfighi, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In the current analysis, stroke risk factors were worse in men than in women — all, that is, except weight gain around the waist, she says.

“Our hypothesis is abdominal obesity increases the risk of other risk factors — diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Together, they drive up the risk of stroke,” Towfighi tells WebMD.

The study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference.

Middle-Aged Stroke Gap Real

The new analysis was conducted to determine if the gender gap observed in the earlier study was a real phenomenon or a fluke, Towfighi says. So she and colleagues analyzed data on 2,136 men and women aged 35 to 64 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey done from 2005 to 2006.

It was real, Towfighi says. Nearly 3% of women in that age group reported having suffered a stroke, compared with only 1% of men.

The disparity appeared to be driven mainly by differences in the 45 to 54 age group, where women had 3.12 times the odds of having a stroke compared to men, she says.

Seeking to find out why, the researchers then looked at a host of factors that can affect risk, including smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

“We found that in general, men were more likely to have conventional cardiovascular risk factors,” Towfighi says.

But 62% of women suffered from abdominal obesity vs. 50% of men. In women, abdominal obesity is defined as a waist circumference of 35 inches or more; in men, it’s 40 inches or more.

Towfighi notes that the absolute risk of a middle-aged woman having had a stroke is still quite low. Only about a three-in-100 risk. ” End of Quote.

Can Belly Fat Cause Strokes

So armed with this information, we now know that both men and women are susceptible to strokes. Especially if they are carrying extra weight around their middle. This may not be a surprise to some people who look at the world from a common sense perspective. Many people who feel they are mildly overweight, they may feel that this is new information. They may be a little scared. Since no one wants to have a stroke and suffer some of the side effects from a stroke.

Side effects of strokes can include, partial  paralysis, lack of coordination, loss of speech, total paralysis and of course death. Sounds pretty scary because it is scary.

Another article we recently read suggested that if you walk at a brisk rate of speed a minimum of 2 hours a week you can cut the risk of a stroke by over 30%.  Brisk walking a couple of times a week also will strengthen your heart, your lungs and your overall health. You might even lose weight if you also manage your calorie intake. All you need to do is go for a brisk walk a couple of times a week.

It cannot be that hard to do. Get out there after supper and walk around the block a few time. Or walk down to the mall, walk up the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator etc. You can do it. And by the way that belly fat that we told you about that could cause a stroke, will start to melt away which is another excellent benefit.

We hope that this post helps a few people. If you would like to add your comments please do. We appreciate your thoughts and support.

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