Moderate weight loss helps obese avoid heart disease risk

January 25th, 2009 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 25 (IANS) Obese people can avoid a lifetime of health problems, especially heart disease, if they go in for a moderate weight reduction. An estimated 50 million Americans have the potentially serious metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that leads to heart disease.

Doctors at the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Centre (MDBHVC) in Houston have demonstrated a significant motivation to drop even a modest amount of weight.

“Our study has shown that weight loss of as little as 6.5 percent in individuals with the disease results in substantial reductions in blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol, all factors that lead to heart disease,” MDBHVC director Christie Ballantyne said.

“These impressive results occur early in the weight loss, well before individuals even begin to approach their ideal body weight,” Ballantyne said.

Every risk factor of the metabolic syndrome can be tied to increased risk for heart disease, said a MDBHVC release.

However, research shows that all risk factors were reduced by even moderate weight loss, and equivalent benefits from medications may have required three different drugs for blood pressure and glucose.

Continued weight loss shows significant improvements in both blood pressure and triglycerides.

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