Even Moderate Weight Loss Helps the Heart

Obese people who lose a moderate amount of weight can experience improved heart function – even if they gain the pounds back.

A new study shows that after six months, a group of obese patients who lost around 20 pounds each through diet and exercise showed improved cardiovascular health.

The study subjects ranged in age from 22 to 64 and their body mass indexes ranged from 30 to 44. After six months of weight loss, they showed decreased heart thickness, decreased thickening of the arteries, better heart relaxation and improved blood pumping.

The study researchers then followed up 18 months after the weight loss and found that even though some of the patients regained weight, the cardiovascular improvements hadn’t totally disappeared.

Lisa de las Fuentes, heart specialist at Washington University, said the study was unique in that it followed people over a long enough period of time to see them lose weight, show improvement, gain weight back and lose some of that improvement. But she says the results prove that even moderate weight loss is good for the heart, and that it’s one sure way to turn back the clock and gain a healthier heart.

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