Weight management can rejuvenate your heart
After adjusting for age, gender, smoking and ethnicity, researchers found that the risk of high blood pressure and dyslipidemia were similar in those who used to have obesity and those who had always maintained a healthy weight.
Compared to those who were always healthy weight, people who used to have obesity had three-fold higher odds of diabetes than those who never had obesity; whilst people with current obesity were seven times as likely to experience diabetes. Those who currently had obesity were also at three times greater odds of current high blood pressure and dyslipidemia.
“The key take away of this study is that weight loss is hard, but important, for cardiovascular health,” said lead author Professor Maia Smith from St George’s University in Grenada.
“First of all, it’s no surprise that losing weight and keeping it off is hard. Almost everyone in our original sample who had ever had obesity, stayed that way. But don’t despair: if you do manage to lose weight, it can not only prevent but reverse significant health problems. The best time to get healthy is 20 years ago; the second best time is now,” added Smith.
The authors acknowledged that their findings show observational associations rather than cause and effect, and they cannot rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors (including socioeconomic status) or missing data (eg, dietary habits, physical activity behaviours) may have affected the results.
Finally, the study relied on self-reports of disease diagnosis and medication, as well as the highest-ever body weight, which might not be accurate.