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Weight Loss and Exercise Can Improve Cardiac Function

Studies show improvements in obese children and adults in cardiac risk factors

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and losing weight improves cardiac function at any age, but some of those benefits can be lost when weight is regained, according to a pair of studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In one study, Nathalie J. Farpour-Lambert, M.D., of the University of Geneva, and colleagues randomized 44 obese prepubescent children to a three-month program of three times weekly exercise or an inactive control group (for a second three-month period, both groups exercised.) After three months, the exercise group reduced its systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, hypertension rate, body mass index z-score, abdominal fat, and maximal oxygen consumption compared to controls. After six months, significant improvements in arterial stiffness and arterial intima-media thickness were observed.

In another study, Lisa de las Fuentes, M.D., of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues evaluated 60 obese subjects on either a low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet. The average weight loss of the combined groups was 7.3, 9.2, 7.8, and 3.8 percent at three, six, 12, and 24 months, respectively. The subjects improved their left ventricular mass, carotid intima-media thickness, and left ventricular diastolic and systolic function. Regaining some weight diminished benefits, but, at two years, there was still a net benefit.

"Diet-induced moderate weight loss in obese subjects is associated with beneficial changes in cardiovascular structure and function. Subsequent weight regain is associated with partial loss of these beneficial effects," de las Fuentes and colleagues write.

Several authors of the second study reported receiving consulting fees and grant support from a variety of hospitals, as well as from pharmaceutical, medical device, and nutritional companies.

Abstract- Farpour-Lambert
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Abstract- de las Fuentes
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