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Weight loss help for heart patients should improve - study

Wednesday July 28th 2021

Many patients with coronary heart disease could be given improved advice and support with weight loss, according to a Europe-wide study.

A team led by Professor Catriona Jennings of the National University of Ireland, Galway, analysed information from two large European studies including 10,507 patients with coronary heart disease.

Between six and 24 months after hospitalisation for their heart event, participants were interviewed, measured, and given a questionnaire.

Over a third of patients were obese, and this was particularly likely among younger patients. Those who were overweight or obese and lost 5% or more of their body weight had significantly lower levels of hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and previously unrecognised diabetes, and their reported physical and emotional quality of life were higher.

Regardless of weight, half of all patients were advised to follow a cardiac prevention and rehabilitation programme. Among obese patients, 64% were advised to follow dietary recommendations or to do regular physical activity.

Outcomes were improved for those who undertook physical activity, attended a cardiac rehabilitation and prevention programme, and followed dietary advice from a health professional.

Details are published today in European Heart Journal – Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes.

The authors write: “It seems that obesity is not considered by physicians as a serious medical problem, which requires attention, recommendations and obvious advice on personal weight targets.”

Professor Jennings said: “Uptake and access to cardiac rehabilitation programmes is poor with less than half of patients across Europe reporting that they completed a programme.

“Such programmes would provide a good opportunity to support patients in addressing overweight and obesity. Uptake and access could be improved with the use of digital technology, especially for women, who possibly are less likely to attend a programme because they have many other competing priorities, such as caring for others."

De Bacquer, D. et al. Potential for optimizing management of obesity in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. European Heart Journal – Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes 28 July 2021; doi: 10.1093/ehjqcco/qcab043


Tags: Diet & Food | Europe | Fitness | Heart Health

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