Obese Heart Failure Patients Have Better Chances at Weight Loss, Study Reveals

Published:September 3rd, 2010

ScienceDaily — A research conducted at the University of Alberta research discovered that obese or overweight heart failure patients having more muscle may better succeed at weight loss regimens and lengthen their years. Study author Antigone Oreopoulos from University of Alberta’s School of Public Health gathered data from 140 patients with heart failure and who were categorized as either overweight or obese. They all went through special scans to determine their body fat and muscle mass.

Studies revealed that more muscle was linked to a better nutritional status and decreased severity of heart complications, as higher body fat translated into reduced exercise capability and higher risks of heart complications. Even for heart failure patients in these categories, as long as more muscle mass has been measured and lesser fat has been detected, they have better chances of losing weight fast and extending their life years.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings has these findings concluded by Oreopolous.

He further notes that mere measurements of BMI pertaining to heart failure patients do not necessarily mean that body fat status is accurate. He found out that about 41% of these patients were classified as obese or overweight because BMI was solely relied on. High body weight, as BMI measures, mislabels a person as obese or overweight even if body fat was low. Those who did not weigh as much but had higher levels of body fat were, too, mislabeled as normal and healthy.

Oreopoulous adds that this study has direct consequences on weight management guidelines and products sold by healthcare professionals and all across the internet; even before a weight loss recommendation is made, there is still a shortage of evidence to guide even a clinician’s recommendation on when and which will be the most effective weight loss program – especially to those with heart failure and complications.

No further recommendations were made in this study but important enough, the study provided concrete explanations that muscle and fat have major roles to play in the survival of heart patients as they go through different programs of weight loss. Evidence is still insufficient to make recommendations at this point, though treatment studies are already being conducted on the effects of weight loss and gain, on survival, and improving the quality of life of heart failure patients.

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