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Big Gut? Heart Attack Signal

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Banish the belly, not just the pounds: That’s the heart-healthy advice from a new study that finds that “pot” bellies may be a big indicator of future heart disease.

“What we’re seeing is a quite strong association between the pot-belly, apple shape among a relatively young group of people and the build-up of plaque in the arteries,” said study co-author Dr. James A. de Lemos, an associate professor of medicine and director of the Coronary Care Unit at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

“Ten to 15 years down the road, this can lead to major cardiac problems, such as a heart attack,” he said.

The findings are published in the Aug. 21 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 870,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, making it the leading killer of both men and women.

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