Having bigger thighs might mean you live longer – The Sun
HAVING larger thighs reduces the risk of heart disease, according to a new study.
Doctors now could begin measuring patients' thighs in a bid to help determine those at risk of high blood pressure among overweight and obese people in the future.
Researchers found having big thighs is linked with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease in obese people.
Findings revealed overweight and obese men and women with a larger thigh circumference could be less likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
The new discovery suggests carrying more weight on the thighs could be a marker of a healthier heart among obese and overweight people.
It means thigh circumference could be useful for targeting obese and overweight people for detecting high blood pressure earlier on.
Dr Zhen Yang, of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China, said: "Circumference measurements are easy, low cost and previously effective at evaluating risk of certain diseases."
"A large waist circumference is well known to be associated with elevated blood pressure and a small thigh circumference is associated with diabetes.
"However, there are currently no studies that examine the potential of thigh circumference as an indicator of high blood pressure in people with obesity."
What can high blood pressure cause?
If your blood pressure is too high – which is known as hypertension – it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Some symptoms can include severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems and chest pains.
Sufferers of high blood pressure could also experience difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine and pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.
High blood pressure is a major public health problem affecting more than a billion people worldwide and is the leading cause of mortality and disability globally.
The serious condition can be caused by several factors including being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking, or a high amount of salt in the diet.
Elevated blood pressure causes excess strain on the heart and arteries and can lead to build-up of fat in blood vessels, limiting blood flow.
This increases the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
Dr Yang said: "Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure as it rarely has noticeable symptoms.
"Therefore, identifying high risk individuals early and employing intervention strategies such as monitoring diet or increasing exercise may help prevent further damage to blood vessels and the heart."
In the study, Dr Yan investigated links between thigh circumference and blood pressure in a population of 9,250 Chinese men and women aged 40 or older, of which around 5,350 were overweigh and obese and around 4,170 were normal weight.
Having a larger thigh circumference of more than 55cm in men and 54cm in women had significant links with a lower prevalence of high blood pressure.
This was consistent in both men and women and was independent of age, body mass index, and waist circumference.
Whereas those with a small thigh circumference, of less than 51cm for men and 50cm for women, were more likely to have high blood pressure.
Dr Yang said: "In contrast to stomach fat, leg fat may be beneficial for metabolism.
"The most likely cause of this association is that there is more thigh muscle and/or fat deposited under the skin which secretes various beneficial substances that help keep blood pressure in a relatively stable range."
How can I lower my blood pressure?
You can take steps to lower your blood pressure by losing weight, which is helped by increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet.
Doctors also recommend reducing alcohol intake and cutting out smoking.
Reducing the sodium in your diet is also a good step to reducing blood pressure, so make sure you read the labels on food, and avoid eating processed meats and canned veg where possible.
If you can't reduce it by natural methods, your doctor can then prescribe you medication.
The study suggests thigh circumference could potentially be used as a convenient and inexpensive indicator for earlier detection and prevention of high blood pressure and other related complications, such as heart disease, in obese or overweight people.
But due to large differences in thigh circumferences among different races and different physical activity groups, the thigh circumference sizes in this study may not be a reference for other populations.
Dr Yang now plans to further investigate this link by measuring body composition including thigh fat mass, thigh muscle mass, thigh bone mass and thigh proteins.
He added: "Different proportions of these components may provide clues to the association between thigh circumference and blood pressure and may help us develop future treatments."
The findings were published online by the journal Endocrine Connections.
A simple trick could tell you how healthy your heart is in just 30 seconds.
To do it, fill a bowl with cold water and ice before putting yours hands in it for the full 30 seconds.
If your fingers go red, this means you have good heart and blood circulation.
If they are pale of blueish, it could mean you have bad circulation,
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