Washington: UCLA researchers have found that in both men and women with advanced heart failure, obesity — as indicated by a high body mass index (BMI) — and a higher waist circumference were factors that put them at significantly less risk for adverse outcomes.Heart failure affects 5.8 million people, including 2.5 million women. Approximately one-half to two-thirds of heart failure patients are overweight or obese.Women and men are known to have differences in body composition and body-fat distribution, and this study is one of the first to specifically assess the impact of BMI and waist circumference on women and compare it with men.The findings also offer further insight into an observed phenomenon in chronic heart failure known as the “obesity paradox”: Obesity is a known risk factor for developing heart disease and heart failure, but once heart failure has manifested, being overweight may provide some protective benefits.
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