(HealthDay News) — Large thigh circumference is associated with a lower risk for hypertension in overweight and obese individuals, according to a study published in Endocrine Connections.
Jie Shi, from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and colleagues evaluated the association between thigh circumference and hypertension in the middle-aged and elderly population. The analysis included 9520 individuals (aged ≥40 years).
The researchers found that thigh circumference was negatively correlated with systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol. For the highest thigh circumference tertile group, the risk for hypertension was significantly lower than for the lowest tertile group after adjusting for multiple potential confounders in both overweight (odds ratio, 0.68) and obese people (odds ratio, 0.51).
“In contrast to stomach fat, leg fat may be beneficial for metabolism,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The most likely cause of this association is that there is more thigh muscle and/or fat deposited under the skin which secretes various beneficial substances that help keep blood pressure in a relatively stable range.”