01/19/2005 - News

Obese heart failure patients do better than lean ones

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Obese heart failure patients do better than lean ones

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A study shows that excess weight seems to have a protective effect on patients with heart failure.
We're used to thinking of obesity as a risk factor for many diseases. But the opposite is the case when it comes to heart failure, according to a group at Yale University School of Medicine. Nearly 8,000 patients with stable heart failure were followed up for an average of three years and divided into groups depending on their weight.

The overweight and obese patients were 19 per cent and 12 per cent less likely to die than patients of a healthy weight. And underweight patients were 21 per cent more likely to die than those of healthy weight. It is not clear why excess weight is a protective factor in heart failure. The researchers speculate that maybe weight problems lead people to earlier diagnosis and better care. Until more is learned about this link, it may be wise for patients with heart failure not to try to lose weight.

Archives of Internal Medicine 10th January 2005

Created on: 01/19/2005
Reviewed on: 01/19/2005

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