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Apple & Pear Shapes: How Your Body Shape Affects Heart Risk

Apple & Pear Shapes: How Your Body Shape Affects Heart Risk
Does waist-to-hip ratio influence heart health?

A recent study examined 500,000 adults in England, Scotland and Wales. Participants were age 40 to 69 with an average age of 56. They were typically overweight but had no history of heart disease. After an average follow-up of seven years, 5,710 of those surveyed had heart attacks. Heart attacks were more common in those who were obese, including those with high BMI. Those with a wide waist or high waist-to-hip number were high risk.

Women with a large waist or high hip-to-waist ratio are at greater risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease.

If you were pear-shaped or apple-shaped in your youth, it may get worse as you age. If it worsens, it’s time to intervene and improve your health to reduce heart attack and inflammatory illness risk. It’s very easy to gain belly fat as you enter perimenopause. 

Of course, being too thin is bad for overall health. Women need to feel strong and have functional health. That requires muscle mass.

Listen as Dr. Jennifer Haythe joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to discuss how apple and pear shapes impact your heart health.


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Featured Speaker:
Jennifer Haythe, MD
DrJenniferHaytheDr. Jennifer Haythe is a practicing Cardiologist as well as the Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Co-Director for the Women’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Center and Director of Cardiac Obstetric Service.

Born in New York City, and raised in both Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut, Dr. Haythe used her competitiveness and determination as a horseback rider at Greenwich Academy to excel at academics as well. Never one to sit still for long, Dr. Haythe knew early on that a regular desk job would not work for her. Drawing on an early love of science and desire to help others made pursuing a career in the medical field a natural fit.

Dr. Haythe went earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and went on to complete her medical training and residency at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003. Initially planning a career in Pulmonary Critical Care, Dr. Haythe decided to switch to Cardiology after speaking with her mentor Dr. Donna Mancini.

Upon completing a fellowship for congestive-heart failure-cardiac transplants in 2005 (under Dr. Mancini), and cardiovascular diseases fellowship in 2009, Dr. Haythe began practicing at Columbia University Medical Center. Her specialties include pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and cardiac transplant.

Despite Cardiology being a heavily male dominated medical field, Dr. Haythe has become a sought after specialist in New York City, with particular interest in both chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and the care of pregnant women with cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Haythe continues to find her own motivation and determination through the strong patient and family relationships she has forged, and the gratification of helping her patients get a new life with a heart transplant or assist devices, allowing patients to be able to live a full life with their families, as well as helping pregnant women safely deliver children and be able to care for them with post-delivery health care.

Dr. Haythe lives and practices in New York City. When not working, she enjoys an active lifestyle that includes running, boxing and yoga, as well as spending time with her husband, Eli and their two children.