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More Proof that Whittling Your Waist Adds Years to Your Life

Having a large waist circumference has previously been associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels and heart disease. But a new report in the August 9/23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that individuals with a large waist circumference appear to have a greater risk of dying from any cause over a nine-year period.

According to Newswise.com, Eric J. Jacobs, Ph.D., and colleagues at the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, examined the association between waist circumference and risk of death among 48,500 men and 56,343 women age 50 and older. After adjusting for body mass index and other risk factors, they found that very large waists were associated with approximately twice the risk of death during the study period.

A larger waist was associated with higher risk of death across all categories of BMI, including normal weight, overweight and obese; however, among women, the association was strongest for those at a normal weight. While the study's authors did not know why normal weight women with low BMI but large waists also were at risk, they said the results of the study may affect the development of future guidelines for obesity.

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