Association Between Belly Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: A Survey-Based Study

Main Article Content

Muhammad Abbas


Background: The escalating prevalence of obesity worldwide is intricately linked with numerous health complications, notably diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), respiratory issues, and mental health disorders. Abdominal obesity, in particular, stands out as a significant predictor of cardiovascular risk, underpinning the need for detailed investigations to facilitate targeted interventions.

Objective: This research aimed to elucidate the relationship between abdominal obesity and the risk of cardiovascular disease, focusing on the roles played by waist circumference, socioeconomic factors, exercise habits, and biochemical markers in determining cardiovascular health.

Methods: This cross-sectional study, executed by the Cardiology Department at GKMC Swabi, analyzed data from a representative sample of 400 individuals recruited between January 5 and December 31, 2023. Participants were stratified by gender and waist size, undergoing evaluations for waist circumference, fasting blood glucose, lipid profiles, and physical fitness. Socioeconomic status was classified into low to middle, middle to high, and high. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS version 25.0, with chi-square tests and odds ratios computed to ascertain statistical significances at a threshold of p<0.05.

Results: The investigation revealed that males with waist sizes ≥85 cm (n=20) had a mean waist circumference of 90.1±43.1 cm and BMI of 23.3±0.80 kg/m², whereas females in the same waist size category (n=30) reported mean values of 88.1±2.7 cm and 23.8±0.7 kg/m², respectively, indicating significant associations with increased cardiovascular risk (p<0.001 for all comparisons). Age analysis showed that individuals with central obesity were significantly older, with mean ages of 63.3±12.64 years for men and 63.9±4.5 years for women in the higher waist size groups, compared to their counterparts with smaller waist sizes (p<0.001). Socioeconomic analysis highlighted an inverse relationship between education level and obesity prevalence, particularly among women. Regular physical activity emerged as a significant protective factor, with individuals engaging in exercise 0-3 days per week showing a lower incidence of elevated waist sizes (p<0.001 for both genders). Adjusted odds ratios for age and BMI pointed to a complex interplay between abdominal obesity and CVD risk, influenced by gender and socioeconomic background.

Conclusion: Our findings highlight the multifaceted relationship between abdominal obesity and cardiovascular disease risk, advocating for personalized treatment approaches that consider the intricate influences of socioeconomic status, lifestyle behaviors, and biological markers. The study underscores the importance of holistic strategies that promote lifestyle modification, socioeconomic improvement, and targeted clinical interventions to combat the cardiovascular sequelae of obesity.

Article Details

How to Cite
Khudayenoor, Shahzeb, & Abbas, M. (2024). Association Between Belly Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: A Survey-Based Study. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 537–542.
Author Biographies

Khudayenoor, PAF Hospital Islamabad Pakistan.

Medical Officer, CCU.

Shahzeb, Mardan Medical Complex (MMC) Mardan Pakistan.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine.

Muhammad Abbas, Mardan Medical Complex (MMC) Mardan Pakistan.

Professor, Department of Medicine.


Abdallah LR, Matos RC, Souza YPDMe, Vieira-Soares D, Muller-Machado G, Pollo-Flores P. Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Its Links with Inflammation and Atherosclerosis. Current atherosclerosis reports. 2020;22:1-8.

Aparecida Silveira E, Vaseghi G, de Carvalho Santos ASEA, Kliemann N, Masoudkabir F, Noll M, et al. Visceral Obesity and Its Shared Role in Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease: A Scoping Review of the Pathophysiology and Pharmacological Treatments. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020;21.

Bello-Chavolla OY, Antonio-Villa NE, Vargas-Vázquez A, Viveros-Ruiz TL, Almeda-Valdes P, Gomez-Velasco D, et al. Metabolic Score for Visceral Fat (METS-VF), a novel estimator of intra-abdominal fat content and cardio-metabolic health. Clinical Nutrition. 2020;39(5):1613-21.

Chartrand DJ, Murphy-Després A, Alméras N, Lemieux I, Larose E, Després J-P. Overweight, obesity, and CVD risk: a focus on visceral/ectopic fat. Current atherosclerosis reports. 2022;24(4):185-95.

Sims EAh. Are there persons who are obese, but metabolically healthy? Metabolism: clinical and experimental. 2001;50 12:1499-504.

Dehghan A, Vasan SK, Fielding BA, Karpe F. A prospective study of the relationships between change in body composition and cardiovascular risk factors across the menopause. Menopause (New York, NY). 2021;28(4):400.

Jung S, Park J, Seo Y-G. Relationship between arm-to-leg and limbs-to-trunk body composition ratio and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Scientific Reports. 2021;11(1):17414.

Kammerlander AA, Lyass A, Mahoney TF, Massaro JM, Long MT, Vasan RS, et al. Sex differences in the associations of visceral adipose tissue and cardiometabolic and cardiovascular disease risk: the framingham heart study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021;10(11):e019968.

Manolopoulos KN, Karpe F, Karpe F, Frayn KN. Gluteofemoral body fat as a determinant of metabolic health. International Journal of Obesity. 2010;34:949-59.

Katta N, Loethen T, Lavie CJ, Alpert MA. Obesity and coronary heart disease: epidemiology, pathology, and coronary artery imaging. Current problems in cardiology. 2021;46(3):100655.

Kim H-L, Ahn D-W, Kim SH, Lee DS, Yoon SH, Zo J-H, et al. Association between body fat parameters and arterial stiffness. Scientific Reports. 2021;11(1):20536.

Knowles R, Carter J, Jebb SA, Bennett D, Lewington S, Piernas C. Associations of skeletal muscle mass and fat mass with incident cardiovascular disease and all‐cause mortality: a prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021;10(9):e019337.

Gastaldelli A, Basta G. Ectopic fat and cardiovascular disease: what is the link? Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD. 2010;20 7:481-90.

Liu H-H, Cao Y-X, Jin J-L, Guo Y-L, Zhu C-G, Wu N-Q, et al. Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease and major adverse cardiac events in patients with chronic coronary syndrome: a matched case–control study. Hepatology international. 2021;15:1337-46.

Maksimovic M, Vlajinac H, Radak D, Marinkovic J, Maksimovic J, Jorga J. Association of overweight and obesity with cardiovascular risk factors in patients with atherosclerotic diseases. Journal of Medical Biochemistry. 2020;39(2):215.

Mohammadi H, Ohm J, Discacciati A, Sundstrom J, Hambraeus K, Jernberg T, et al. Abdominal obesity and the risk of recurrent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease after myocardial infarction. European journal of preventive cardiology. 2020;27(18):1944-52.

Powell-Wiley TM, Poirier P, Burke LE, Després J-P, Gordon-Larsen P, Lavie CJ, et al. Obesity and cardiovascular disease: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2021;143(21):e984-e1010.

Rao VN, Bush CG, Mongraw‐Chaffin M, Hall ME, Clark III D, Fudim M, et al. Regional adiposity and risk of heart failure and mortality: the Jackson heart study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2021;10(14):e020920.

Sharma A, Mittal S, Aggarwal R, Chauhan MK. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: inter-relation of risk factors and treatment. Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2020;6(1):1-19.

Wan H, Wang Y, Xiang Q, Fang S, Chen Y, Chen C, et al. Associations between abdominal obesity indices and diabetic complications: Chinese visceral adiposity index and neck circumference. Cardiovascular Diabetology. 2020;19:1-12.

Jung C-H, Rhee E-J, Kwon H, Chang Y, Ryu S, Lee W-Y. Visceral-to-subcutaneous abdominal fat ratio is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis. Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2020;35(1):165-76.