A new study revealed that people with belly fat has high risk of hypertension than the ones who are obese overall.
Obesity is a known risk factor for high blood pressure or hypertension and has been widely reported that the location of fat on a person's body could lead to increased risk of other health issues like heart disease and cancer. The relationship between hypertension and overall obesity versus site-specific fat accumulation has been unclear.
In the research, 903 patients enrolled in the Dallas Heart Study were followed for an average of seven years to track development of hypertension. Hypertension was classified as a systolic blood pressure of greater or equal to 140 and diastolic blood pressure of greater or equal to 90.
Patients also received imaging of visceral fat, which is located deep in the abdominal cavity between the organs; subcutaneous fat, or visible fat located all over the body and lower-body fat.
Aslan T. Turer, senior author at the University of Texas, said 'visceral fat stores correlated with the 'apple shape' as opposed to the 'pear shape,' hence the centrally located fat, when one looked in the mirror, tended to correlate with higher levels of fat inside the abdomen'.
In the conclusion of the study, 25 percent of patients developed hypertension. When, higher BMI was associated with increased incidence of hypertension, when abdominal fat content, overall fat content and lower-body fat content were factored in, only abdominal fat remained independently associated with hypertension. The relationship between abdominal fat and hypertension did not change when factoring in gender, age or race.
The strongest correlation between abdominal fat and hypertension was observed with retroperitoneal fat, which is a type of visceral fat located behind the abdominal cavity and largely around the kidneys.