Even moderate weight loss can yield heart benefits: Study

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, claimed that obese people who lost a moderate amount of weight by eating less and exercising more improved their cardiovascular health, Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported.
"Losing 20 or so pounds might seem daunting to some people, but we showed that even a more modest weight loss can yield heart and vascular benefits," says lead author Lisa de las Fuentes.
She said, "It's important to realise that you can choose goals that are attainable and work progressively toward them. You don't necessarily need to lose 50 pounds to improve your heart function."
The study showed that weight loss lead to improvement in four key measures of heart and vascular health -- decreasing thickness of heart muscle, improved pumping and relaxation functions and decreased thickness of the carotid artery walls.
Heart muscle thickening and impaired pumping and relaxation functions are predictors of heart failure, and increased carotid wall thickness is a predictor of plaque formation.
The researchers studied 60 moderately obese individuals at regular intervals, and 46 people (78 per cent) completed the entire two-year follow-up period.

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