Heart Health Improved With Weight Loss, Even if Some Pounds Regained Later

Behavioral weight management programs reduce some cardiometabolic risk factors, with effects lasting at least five years, despite weight regain
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, April 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral weight management programs (BWMPs) reduce cardiometabolic risk factors in the long term, despite weight regain, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online March 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, D.Phil., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the impact of weight regain after BWMPs on cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Data were included from 124 trials reporting on one or more cardiometabolic outcomes with a median follow-up of 28 months after program end.

The researchers found that the incidences of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes were examined in eight and 15 studies with 7,889 and 4,202 participants, respectively; imprecise evidence was found for a lower incidence for at least five years. These differences were reduced with weight regain in BWMPs relative to comparators. The total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein ratio was 1.5 points lower at both one and five years after the program (82 studies; 19,003 participants); systolic blood pressure was 1.5 mm Hg and 0.4 mm Hg lower, respectively (84 studies; 30,836 participants); and glycated hemoglobin was 0.38 percent lower at both time points (94 studies; 28,083 participants). Twenty-two percent of the included studies had a high risk for bias; the results were not meaningfully altered by removing these studies.

"This evidence reinforces the value of such programs to reduce the risk of CVD," the authors write. "It should reassure clinicians and patients that support for weight management will reduce their risk of premature morbidity and weight regain is unlikely to erode the lifetime benefits."

One author disclosed financial ties to Novo Nordisk.

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