A recent study co-authored by Mayo Clinic physicians and presented at the 2012 ACC Annual Scientific Session & Expo might change the way we assess obesity in individuals with heart disease. This study included 15,000 coronary artery disease patients from 3 different continents, and was designed to learn the affect that distribution of body fat has on overall mortality risk. The study found that individuals who were "skinny" according to BMI, but had an abnormal distribution of fat (waist larger than hips), were 4-5 times more likely to die long-term than individuals who were a little bit overweight, but had a normal distribution of fat (waist smaller than hips). The study marks the first time that physicians have been able separate patients according to their mortality risk based solely on body weight and distribution of fat. "We believe these findings might change the way we assess obesity in the clinical practice when we see individuals with heart disease," says Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez. "A single measurement, just weighing patients, is not enough to separate their risk of death by high, low, or very low."