Thin Thighs May Lead to Heart Disease


People whose thighs are less than 60 cm (23 inches) in diameter are at risk of premature death and heart disease. But bigger thighs have no protective effect on health, according to Danish scientists.


Berit Heitmann, lead author of the new study conducted at the Copenhagen University, Denmark, says his research may help GPs indentify people with higher risk of an early death and developing heart disease. In his study, he was first to show that thigh size can affect health. The study involved almost 3000 people, 1463 men and 1380 women. The participants were examined in 1987/88 and had their height, weight, thigh and hip diameter measured. Then they were observed over 10 years for cases of heart disease and death.

During the period, 257 men and 155 women died, and 263 men and 140 women developed cardiovascular diseases. When analyzing the results, the researchers established the link between small thighs and premature death and heart disease. Experts think that small tight size may indicate the lack of muscle mass in this body part. This could be the problem in itself because it may lead to low insulin sensitivity and type-2 diabetes, and in the long-term, heart disease.

The increased risk was found independent of other factors that affect the life span such as smoking, lifestyle and hypertension. The authors think that physicians should use thigh size as an early sign that a patient can be in the risk group and encourage exercising in order to increase muscle mass in thigh region.

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