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January 2008 Br J Cardiol 2008;15:7-11

Better to be fat than unfit?

BJCardio editorial team

Abstract

The study followed 2,603 adults aged 60 or over for a mean of 12 years.  Results showed that obese subjects who were fit had a lower risk of dying than normal-weight subjects who were physically inactive. While fitness predicted mortality risk regardless of smoking, baseline health, body mass index, waist circumference or body-fat percentage, waist circumference was not associated with increased mortality after fitness was considered. “Normal-weight individuals in our study had greater longevity only if they were physically fit; furthermore, obese individuals who were fit did not have increased mortality,” the authors report.  “It may

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