Losing Weight Improves Heart Function in Obese Patients

Shedding pounds may avert subclinical myocardial and vascular dysfunction

MONDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss causes significant improvements in brachial arterial reactivity and myocardial reflectivity in obese patients who do not have a history of cardiovascular disease, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology. However, it does not improve systolic parameters, such as regional myocardial systolic velocity.

Thomas H. Marwick, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues explored the effect of an eight-week lifestyle intervention program on subclinical myocardial and vascular dysfunctions in 106 obese participants.

The researchers found that 48 participants lost weight, and 58 participants either kept the same weight or put on more pounds. Those who lost weight exhibited significantly better brachial arterial reactivity (8.6 versus 4.9 percent) and reflectivity (18.3 versus 16.2, calibrated integrated backscatter).

"The results of this study indicate that weight loss through a short-term lifestyle modification can reverse endothelial dysfunction, increase left ventricular diastolic function and reflectivity, and increase exercise capacity in presymptomatic obese subjects," the authors write.

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