Weight loss could be harmful for defibrillator patients

08 March 2013

While weight loss is normally advised for people with heart problems, a new study has found that for those with a certain type of defibrillator, even minor weight reduction could lead to complications.

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 62nd Annual Scientific Session revealed that those with cardiac resynchronisation therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) have worse health outcomes if they lose a few pounds.

Valentina Kutyifa, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, stated: "In patients with heart failure who receive a cardiac resynchronisation device with defibrillator, unintended weight loss of just five pounds increases the risk of a serious cardiac event.

"These findings suggest clinicians should be monitoring patients with unplanned weight loss more closely."

Risk was found to be particularly heightened among those patients with a left bundle branch block, with the chance of heart failure or death doubling with weight loss.

Dr Kutyifa believes the reason for this is because those with more weight have the energy reserves needed to tolerate demands of power the defibrillator.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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