Large waistline 'doubles the risk of dying early' Women who have a waistline a few inches larger than Beth Ditto were found to have doubled the likelihood of going to an early grave in a U.S study People with a larger waists have a far higher risk of dying young, a study has found. U.S scientists found that having a bigger belly doubled the likelihood of an early grave. Being thick around the middle was already known to be linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels and heart disease. But the new research revealed these factors dramatically increase the risk of dying from any cause over a nine-year period. A team from the American Cancer Society compared waist circumference and death rates in a population of 48,500 men and 56,343 women aged 50 and older. All had participated in a large cancer study which asked them to provide information about weight and waistlines. Deaths among the participants and their causes were tracked for a total of nine years. The results, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, showed having a very large waist roughly doubled the risk of death during the study period for both men and women. The pattern was seen in men with a waist circumference of 47 inches or more, and women measuring at least 42 inches around the middle. This was after making adjustments to take account of body mass index - a standard measurement relating weight and height - and other risk factors.