Physical activity more important than weight loss for cardiac patients


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Noticias Médicas Univadis
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Increased physical activity, and not weight loss, could be more important for patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), suggests a new study. 

While it is widely recommended that individuals with CHD are physically active and maintain a healthy weight, there is a lack of data on how long-term changes in body mass index (BMI) and physical activity (PA) relate to mortality in this population.

To examine this further, researchers examined data on 3,307 individuals with CHD from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) with examinations in 1985, 1996, and 2007, followed up until the end of 2014. 

The authors observed increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in individuals who lost weight, compared with those being weight stable, especially in those who had a normal weight at baseline. A reduced mortality risk was associated with weight gain in individuals who were normal weight at baseline. They found maintaining or beginning PA was associated with substantial reductions in all-cause and CVD mortality risk, with larger reductions seen with high PA levels compared with low levels. 

Presenting the findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the authors said increased attention should be placed on strategies to increase PA in the secondary prevention of CHD.