How common is heart disease in women? In addition, habits that are good for the heart
When you think about body composition and heart disease risk, you probably jump to body fat percentage as a primary indicator. However, a recent study in nature was intended to shed light on what affects heart health in women5: Surprisingly, body weight and body fat were not at the top of the list. In fact, muscle mass may play a more important role.
The study analyzed 146 women aged 16 to 58 years. The participants’ cardiorespiratory fitness was measured using an exercise test, and the researchers also collected body fat percentage, fat-free mass index (a measure of lean tissue such as bone, muscle and fluid), and mean arterial pressure (ie, the pressure of the blood in the arteries). .
To summarize the results, researchers found that the amount of lean mass (such as muscle) you have may play a bigger role in heart health than body fat or total body weight. They found that age also plays an important role, and this is important to consider, as women tend to lose muscle mass as they age.
With this in mind, building muscle mass is an important step towards optimizing heart health. If you prioritize your protein intake and engage in muscle-building exercises like strength training, you’ll be off to a good start.
If you want to know more about this study, check out our full explanation here and feel free to follow Attia’s longevity training plan.