THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who lose weight and gain it back again may be increasing their risk for heart disease, Wake Forest University researchers report.
Although cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and blood sugar all improve with weight loss, with weight regain they all return to pre-diet levels and, in some cases, to even higher levels, the researchers found.
"For postmenopausal women considering weight loss, maintaining weight loss is just as important as losing weight," said lead researcher Daniel Beavers, an assistant professor in the department of biostatistics and public health sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. "Even partial weight regain is associated with worsened diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors."
In an earlier study of these same women, the researchers found that those who regained weight during the year following weight loss regained fat mass to a greater degree than lean mass, Beavers said.
The report was published in the Dec. 13 online edition of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
For the study, the researchers studied more than 100 postmenopausal obese women while they took part in a five-month weight-loss program. They continued to monitor the women for a year. During the weight-loss program the women lost an average of 25 pounds.
After a year, two-thirds of the women had regained at least four pounds, on average regaining about 70 percent of the weight they had lost, the researchers found.
"Women who regained 4.4 pounds or more in the year following the weight-loss intervention had several worsened cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors," Beavers said.
"What was striking about the women who regained weight was that although they did not return to their full baseline weight on average -- women only regained about 70 percent of
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