Body Weight Fluctuations Increase CV Event Risk

HealthDay News — Fluctuation in body weight is associated with higher mortality and a higher rate of cardiovascular events — independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors — in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Sripal Bangalore, MD, an interventional cardiologist with the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues analyzed medical data from 9,509 patients with coronary artery disease in a clinical trial to test the effect of statin medications. The patients were tracked over 4 years, with doctors regularly taking measure of their health and their body weight.

The researchers found that each increase of one standard deviation in body-weight variability was associated with greater risk of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, resuscitated cardiac arrest, revascularization, angina, stroke, or heart failure. Risk of death was 124% higher, myocardial infarction 117% higher, and stroke 136% higher among patients in the quintile with the highest variation in body weight versus those in the quintile with the lowest variation in body weight, in adjusted models.

“For every 1.5- to 2-pound change in weight fluctuation, the risk of any coronary or cardiovascular event was increased by 4 percent, and the risk of death by 9%,” Bangalore told HealthDay. Bangalore thinks dramatic changes in weight likely place a lot of stress on the body, and also causes hormonal changes that affect the heart.

The study was funded by Pfizer.

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Bangalore S, Fayyad R, Laskey R, et al. Body-weight fluctuations and outcomes in coronary disease. N Engl J Med. 2017;376:1332-1340. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1606148