Losing weight improves heart health

17 March 2015

A new study has found that obese patients can reduce their risk of suffering heart conditions by losing weight. The research, which was presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session, found that people with atrial fibrillation who were significantly overweight and lost ten per cent of their body weight were six times more likely to get rid of it, compared to those whose weight remained the same.

In the first of its kind, the study looked at the long-term impact of weight loss in relation to atrial fibrillation burden. 

Dr Rajeev Pathak, a cardiologist and electrophysiology fellow at the University of Adelaide and the study's lead author, said: "Weight loss also led to favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes, along with improvements in the structure and function of the heart."

The study found that patients who lost more weight and sustained this over four years showed marked reductions in atrial fibrillation burden and severity. Some 355 participants took part in the research, each assigned to a dedicated weight loss clinic and tracked their health for four years.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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