London: Fat people have a better chance of surviving heart attacks than the skinny ones and obese people are more likely to cheat death and avoid the need for a heart transplant or cardiac treatment, a new study has claimed.
Experts at the University of California in Los Angeles have found that people with a high body mass index and a large belly circumference were at significantly less risk of dying.
"Heart failure may prove to be one of the few health conditions where extra weight may prove to be protective," Research leader Dr Tamara Horwich said.
The findings of the study will be published in this month`s American Journal of Cardiology, The Sun reported.
Researchers studied 2,718 heart failure patients over two years and found that men with a wider waist than 40 inches and women having a waist wider than 37 inches were more likely to cheat death, avoid the need for a heart transplant or other cardiac treatment.
The researchers say a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) gives a 34 per cent higher risk in men and 38 per cent higher risk in women. Women with a higher BMI also had better outcomes than their normal-weight counterparts.
"We knew that obesity might provide a protective benefit for heart failure patients." Professor Horwich said.
"But we didn`t know whether this obesity paradox applied specifically to women with heart failure, as well as men ? and it does," he said.
According to the scientist, being skinny is traditionally associated with a poorer prognosis but obese patients seek treatment at an earlier stage due to increased symptoms and functional impairment caused by excess body weight.
This means they get diagnosed sooner, and immediate treatment can lead to better outcomes.