Higher Muscle Mass Associated with Lower Mortality Risk in People with Heart Disease 

According to a study out of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that cardiovascular disease patients who have a high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions. The findings also suggest that regardless of a person’s level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

The researchers divided 6,451 participants with prevalent cardiovascular disease from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey into one of four categories. Each person was categorized as either: low-muscle/low-fat mass, low-muscle/high-fat mass, high-muscle/low-fat mass, and high-muscle/high-fat mass.

The results of the study were that those in the high-muscle mass and low-fat mass had the lowest risk of cardiovascular and total mortality. The researchers note that this could explain the “obesity paradox” which holds that people with a higher BMI have lower mortality levels, due to muscle weighing more than fat. This is another reason to not use BMI as a measurement of health.

Going forward the study suggests that doctors encourage their patients to do resistance training and work on their muscles as opposed to just focusing on weight loss.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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