Fat round your middle could be most harmful to blood pressure, say researchers

2 September 2014        

Blood pressure test strap

Carrying excess weight around your stomach may increase your risk of high blood pressure more than anywhere else on your body, according to a new study.

Being overweight or obese is a well-known risk factor for high blood pressure. In this study researchers looked at the impact on blood pressure of where excess weight was carried on the body.

After tracking the health of over 900 people, they found that obesity was only associated with high blood pressure in people who carried weight around their middle.

Amy Thompson, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said:

“If you are overweight or obese you are more likely to develop high blood pressure, but it’s not just your size or weight that is important. As this study points out, where your body fat is stored may affect your chance of developing high blood pressure, and subsequently increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

“If you have a large waist size it is likely you have a higher amount of visceral fat – body fat which is stored in your abdominal cavity and can surround your internal organs. The best way to lose weight and reduce your waist size is to reduce the number of calories you eat, and get more active. Losing even a small amount of weight will benefit your health and your heart."