Weight Loss Can Reverse Cardiovascular Risk of Obesity

Study shows that shedding pounds potentially decreases the risk of diabetes, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure.

Major weight loss has been linked to reverse most cardiovascular risks associated with obesity, the results of a study showed.

“The key takeaway of this study is that weight loss is hard but important for cardiovascular health,” Maia Smith, a professor at St George’s University in Grenada, and the lead author of the study, said in a statement.

“First of all, it’s no surprise that losing weight and keeping it off is hard,” she said. “Almost everyone in our original sample who had ever had obesity, stayed that way, but don’t despair; if you do manage to lose weight, it can not only prevent but reverse significant health problems.”

The study results showed that the risk of high blood pressure and unhealthy levels of cholesterol and dyslipidemia, were similar in American individuals who used to suffer from obesity and those who were always at a healthy weight.

Although the risk of type 2 diabetes decreases with weight loss, investigators that found it remained elevated in individuals who used to be obese compared with those who never were.

Investigators analyzed the cardiovascular risk factor in 20,271 individuals aged 20 to 69 years, comparing those who used to be obese but were at a healthy weight for at least a year (326), those who were always a healthy weight (6235), and those who are now obese (13,710).

Individuals who used to be obese had 3-fold higher odds of diabetes than those who were always a healthy weight, and those who are now obese were 7 times more likely to experience diabetes.

Individuals who have diabetes now had 3 times greater odds of having dyslipidemia and high blood pressure.

Investigators acknowledged that the results show observational associations rather than cause and effect.

The results were presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, which took place September 27 to October 1, 2021.

Reference

Major weight loss may reverse heart disease risks associated with obesity, US study finds. EurekAlert. News release. September 27, 2021. Accessed September 28, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/929493