By Eleanor Hayward Health Reporter For The Daily Mail
Published: 01:41 BST, 1 July 2019 | Updated: 01:41 BST, 1 July 2019
Women with apple-shaped figures are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes as pear-shaped women, a major study reveals.
Storing fat around the stomach significantly raises the risk of heart disease, even in women who are a healthy weight, scientists say.
This is because fat is packed around major organs such as the liver and pancreas, and releases harmful chemicals into the blood that can cause heart disease.
The study, published in the European Heart Journal, tracked 2683 postmenopausal women who were a healthy weight over an 18 year period.
Scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York analysed their body fat distribution.
Women with apple-shaped figures are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes as pear-shaped women, a major study reveals (file photo)
They ranked the women in order of whether they were apple-shaped or pear-shaped - when most fat is stored around the legs or hips.
The top 25 per cent most apple-shaped women were twice as likely to suffer heart disease and stroke as the 25 per cent of women with the least fat around their middle.
And the top quarter of pear-shaped women were 40 per cent less likely to get heart disease than people who store little fat in their legs.