Progression of CV risk “slowed down or stopped” with reversal of obesity


September 30, 2021

2 minutes to read

Source / Disclosures


Smith M, et al. Summary 84. Presented at: Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes; Sep 27-Oct 1, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Smith does not report any relevant financial disclosure.

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Adults who move from obesity to a healthy weight may reverse the progression of their cardiovascular risk, even if they continue to smoke and especially if they quit, according to an analysis of the data.

In an analysis comparing the CV risk factors of American adults with previous obesity with those with current obesity and with those who have always been at a healthy weight, the researchers also found that the risk of diabetes, but no hypertension or dyslipidemia, remained high compared to those who had never had obesity. , although the risk of diabetes decreases with weight loss.

Smith is a Statistical epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, St. George’s University in Grenada.

“The damage caused by obesity is persistent, but its progression can be slowed or stopped if obesity stops” Maia P. Smith, PhD, MS, a statistical epidemiologist and assistant professor in the department of public health and preventive medicine at the faculty of medicine at St. George’s University in Granada, told Healio. “It’s like smoking: ‘Never’ is better than ‘never’, but ‘quitting’ is better than ‘now’. Prevention and reversal are likely to improve health.

Smith and colleagues analyzed data from 20,271 adults who participated in the 1999-2013 waves of the National Health and Nutrition Survey, stratified into three groups: current obesity (n = 13,710), still healthy weight ( n = 6,235) and past obesity (n = 326). The researchers compared the groups for the prevalence of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes; models were adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and race. The data were presented at the virtual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Within the cohort, participants with previous obesity were older than those who had never or never had obesity and were more likely to smoke, with smoking prevalence rates of 36% , 24% and 19%, respectively.

In the adjusted models, adults with previous obesity had rates of hypertension and dyslipidemia comparable to those of never-obese participants, with ORs of 1.08 and 1.13, respectively (P .01 for both). However, the risk of diabetes was almost three times higher in adults with past obesity than in adults at a healthy weight (OR = 2.93; P .01), although the risk of diabetes is still lower than that of currently obese adults (OR = 7.53; P .01).

Participants with current obesity were also three times more likely to have hypertension (OR = 3.14; P .01) and dyslipidemia (OR = 3.11; P .01) compared to adults at a healthy weight.

“Clinicians should take weight history into account, as well as current weight, when assessing disease risk,” Smith told Healio. “These results, combined with our previous [research] on the perception of body size, suggest that counseling on weight control should be part of standard care for all overweight and obese people. They may not know the risks they are taking, and this research shows they have the ability to reverse a lot of that risk. “

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