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Heart

University of California, Davis study found that ‘pear-shaped’ women were just as likely to suffer from heart disease as those who are ‘apple-shaped’.

Research had previously suggested that pear-shaped bodies, where fat is stored in the bottom and hips, were believed to offer some level of protection against metabolic syndrome, the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity that can raise the risk of heart disease.

This new research, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests this is a myth, and may even be a cause of such diseases. The study found that the fat stored in the buttocks produces proteins which can lead to pre-diabetic conditions and make suffers resistant to insulin. This can then lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Coupled with the recent news that the majority of women in the UK never discuss heart disease - despite its status as the number one risk to their health - this finding should prompt more women to think about these potential risks to their health.

For many people, the first ‘symptom’ of cardiovascular disease is a heart attack. If heart disease is diagnosed at the earliest possible stages, before symptoms develop, it can be successfully treated. Early warning signs can include; chest pains, sweating, shortness of breath, neck and jaw pain, upper back pain, fatigue, indigestion-like pain or nausea.

Royal Brompton Hospital's private patients’ centre has created a heart screening clinic, ideal for women who wish to take steps to detect any possible concern at as early a stage as possible. This heart screening service can help save lives by detecting the early signs of the disease.