A new study published by researchers at the University of Arizona found that overweight and obese women who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight over a two-year period saw improvements in nearly every cardiometabolic health measure.
According to co-author Dr. Cynthia A. Thomson, the study proves that a well-maintained diet is key to improving heart health.
“Mean total cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol were reduced regardless of the amount of weight lost,” said Thomson. “Generally, the higher the baseline biomarker values, the greater was the reduction with weight loss.”
The study found that women who lost 10 percent of their starting body weight after 24 months of diet intervention saw improvements in their:
- LDL cholesterol
- C-reactive protein
- Insulin and triglycerides level
Of the 417 women who participated in the study, 70 percent lost at least 10 percent of their starting weight 24 months after beginning the nutritional regimen. In addition to showing improvements in their cardiometabolic measures, these women noticed a reduction in their BMI, weight, and waist circumference.
Although other studies have examined the correlation between body-mass index and heart health, few have tracked the long-term results.
“Our data extend the results from short-term weight loss trials and suggest that the magnitude of weight loss and baseline values for risk factors are associated with improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors even after 24 months,” the authors said.
Dr. Silverman comments
Theses results are encouraging, but we didn’t really need a study to tell us that a proper diet and exercise are good for your ticker. We’ve already documented how exercise can promote heart health in middle-aged men, and it’s safe to assume women would also benefit from regular exercise as well.
But a well-balanced diet is also crucial to improving hearth health. Being cognizant about food choices not only keeps your heart happy, but it lowers your risk for other ailments. As the study noted, women who lost weight and kept it off saw an improvement in their insulin production, which is key to the prevention of diabetes.
A healthy heart is a happy heart.
Related source: MedPage Today
Lance Silverman, MD
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