Visceral fat, which accumulates around the organs in the abdominal cavity, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol.
Upper belly fat has been strongly associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The fat cells in this area can release substances that interfere with insulin's action.
The presence of visceral fat has been linked to higher blood pressure levels. Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Accumulation of upper belly fat is a key component of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat. This syndrome increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Visceral fat is metabolically active and can release inflammatory substances. Chronic inflammation is associated with various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
Excess belly fat, especially around the upper abdomen, can contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition where fat accumulates in the liver.
Upper belly fat may be associated with an increased risk of sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea is linked to cardiovascular problems and other health issues.
Abdominal fat can affect the mechanics of the respiratory system and reduce lung function. This can contribute to respiratory issues and complications.