Link between hip size, obesity and premature death

The effect of obesity on the risk of premature death is likely to be seriously underestimated unless a person’s hip circumference is taken into account.

By looking at the relationship between waist and hip circumference in a 20-year study of almost 8000 Mauritians, the researchers found that the fat tissue in the hip has quite different metabolic properties compared with fat tissue around the waist.

A higher hip circumference can protect against metabolic disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and may also reflect greater muscle mass.

The study was a collaboration between researchers from Australia, Sweden, Mauritius, Finland, the UK and Denmark, with the findings just published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Read more at Deakin University/Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute