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Although many individuals run from the tape measure, researchers have found that people with relatively large waists and an excess of fats in their blood were more likely to also have diabetes or to be at risk for diabetes or other conditions. In the study, the researchers measured the waist sizes and blood fat levels of 9183 adults of all ages, noted which ones fell above certain "threshold" levels, and reported what other conditions the participants had. These results were published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Lead author Henry S. Kahn, MD, said that threshold levels for waist size and body fats were determined by evaluating the predominant values in people aged 18 to 24. The threshold for waist size was about 38 inches for men and about 35 inches for women. The findings showed that the proportion of people with both waist sizes and blood fats above threshold levels went up with age. It increased from only 6% of people between the ages of 18 to 24 to 43% of people between 55 and 74 years old. Furthermore, the participants with large waists and high blood fats were >3 times as likely to have diabetes and tended to show relatively high levels of glucose and insulin in their blood.