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Center for Women's Heart & Vascular Health
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Obesity Risk Tools
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"Obesity is the No. 1 indicator of potential cardiovascular diseases."—Stephanie Coulter, MD 

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Extra body fat, especially around the waist, can also raise blood pressure, raise LDL “bad cholesterol,” lower HDL or “good cholesterol,” and cause diabetes. Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are two ways to estimate your body fat. Use the tools below to establish where you fall on the obesity scale.

BMI calculator

Measure your waistline 

Why women should measure their BMIs and waistline
  • An overweight BMI (25.0-29.9) increases your risk for heart disease.
  • An obese BMI (30.0 or greater) causes high risk for heart disease.
  • Women who have a lot of fat around the waist are at greater risk for heart disease than those that have fat around the hips.
  • Having a waistline of more than 35 inches (88 cm), regardless of BMI, increases your risk of heart disease.
  • An obese or overweight BMI (25.0 or greater) combined with a waistline circumference of more than 35 inches (88 cm) results in a very high to extremely high risk of heart disease.
Learn more about this topic in the Heart Information Center.

Updated January 2012
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If you would like to find a THI heart doctor or need information about keeping your heart healthy, e-mail the
Heart Information Center or call 1-800-292-2221.
 (Outside the U.S., call 1-832-355-6536.)

Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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