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Losing weight benefits cardiovascular health at any age: study

2014-05-22 15:06 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

Weight loss at any age in adulthood is worthwhile because it could yield long-term heart and vascular benefits, suggests new research published Wednesday in a British medical journal.

A goup of researchers led by University College London reported in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, that the longer the exposure to excess body fat in adulthood the greater the cardiovascular-related problems in later life, including increased thickness of the carotid artery walls, raised systolic blood pressure, and increased risk of diabetes.

The study used data from 1,273 British men and women, who were classified as normal weight, overweight, or obese in childhood and at 36, 43, 53, and 60-64 years of age. The researchers assessed the effect of lifetime exposure to adiposity on cardiovascular risk factors, including carotid intima media thickness, a surrogate marker for cardiovascular events.

The findings indicate that adults who drop a Body Mass Index category--from obese to overweight, or from overweight to normal--at any time during adult life, even if they regain weight, can reduce these cardiovascular manifestations.

According to lead author Professor John Deanfield from UCL, this study followed individuals for more than 60 years, which allowed the researchers to assess the effect of modest, real-life changes in adiposity.

Professor Deanfield said: "Our findings suggest that losing weight at any age can result in long-term cardiovascular health benefits, and support public health strategies and lifestyle modifications that help individuals who are overweight or obese to lose weight at all ages."

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