It’s easy to dismiss the couple of extra pounds that you put on over vacation. But over the years, that type of weight gain can cause serious damage to your heart. New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that small weight gains alter the function and structure of the heart muscle, increasing a person’s future risk of heart failure.
1,262 adults free from heart disease or any other contributing conditions that may lead to heart disease were followed for seven years. At the beginning and end of the study, MRI scans of the heart were taken and body fat measurements were recorded.
Here’s what researchers discovered about those participants who gained weight during that seven year period:
- Those who put on as little as 5% weight were more likely to have thickening and enlargement of the left ventricle
- They showed subtle decreases in the heart’s pumping ability
- They were more likely to exhibit changes in the heart muscle’s function and appearance – even after researchers ruled out other outside factors
“Any weight gain may lead to detrimental changes in the heart above and beyond the effects of baseline weight so that prevention should focus on weight loss or if meaningful weight loss cannot be achieved — the focus should be on weight stability,” said Ian Neeland, M.D., study senior author and a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
“Counseling to maintain weight stability, even in the absence of weight loss, may be an important preventive strategy among high-risk individuals,” he adds.
While keeping a stable weight is a viable option for reducing heart risks, those participants who lost weight were more likely to show signs of decreases in heart muscle thickness.
In recent months Traditional Chinese Medicine has emerged as a viable treatment option for heart disease patients. In light of changing approaches to what constitutes heart-healthy food along with the nation’s surging obesity epidemic, now is the time to refocus nutritional habits to ensure that heart disease is not in your future.
Call the Acupuncture and Wellness Center now to schedule a medical consultation if you are seeking a way to lose weight and take care of your heart.
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