Saturday, September 5, 2009

Study Shows Thin Thighs Increase Heart Disease


Finally, a study that many women can like. The British Medical Journal published a study out of Denmark that looked at the association between thigh circumference and the incident of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Why anyone would even think of thigh circumference being of importance is beyond me, but the Danes seem to think it was important. They found people with thin thighs had more risk of developing heart disease or premature death.

The study looked at 1436 men and 1380 women and examined them for height, weight, hip, thigh and waist circumference. The results showed that small thigh circumference (below 60cm or 23 inches) was associated with more cardiovascular disease and mortality. They did not find the same association with waist size and the findings were independent of percentage body fat mass or obesity. Small thighs were a disadvantage to health and survival for both sexes.

Twenty three inches is not a very small thigh, and in fact, more than half of the men and women aged 35-65 have thigh circumferences below that size. Maybe it has to do with muscle mass (less exercise, less mass). I can't imagine any other reason this strange finding should occur.

I think this study will probably not hold up to analysis and further investigation. There are just too many variables and I don't think people with large thighs should feel they are immune to heart disease.

But the idea that, for once...the skinny models and actresses don't have the advantage is kind of heart warming.

5 comments:

ERP said...

I wonder. Do women with small thighs often have male distribution of fat? (ie trunkal and not in the legs). If so, that explains the heart disease.

Toni Brayer MD said...

ERP: Good idea but the waist distribution didn't show the same findings and they also did not differentiate muscle from fat in the thighs. Overall I am not sure it really will stand up to scrutiny and further study.

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shari thompson said...

I think there may be something to it. My whole life I have been called chicken legs... I tended to carry my weight in my tummy... My hips and legs were very slender. I had a MI at 47 years old. I am not diabetic. I weigh 168 and I am 5 foot 4 with a thigh circumference of 19.5. I am shaped more like a man. I also am APOE 3/4 would be interesting to study if there is a link between APOE and body type.