Yo-yo dieting increases risk of heart attack and stroke, finds study

According to a new study, frequent fluctuations in body weight, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure can have a catastrophic effect on heart health and life expectancy.

In the study, sudden changes in metabolic health parameters were associated with a raised risk of heart attacks, strokes and even early deaths.

By karen roachImage Credit: karen roach / Shutterstock

The study results were published in the latest issue of the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

The team of researchers analysed data from the Korean National Health Insurance System for over 6.7 million people who started on the study with no history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart attacks.

The researchers measured each of the participants’ body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol at three health exams that were conducted every two years between 2005 and 2012.

At the end of the study period, there were more than 55,000 deaths, 22,000 strokes and 21,000 heart attacks.

The study came to an end in 2015, and the data showed that those whose body weight, blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol changed by more than 5 percent during this period were 2.3 times more likely to die an early death, and 40 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke, even if the change was for the better.

The researchers warn that the results are just a correlation and are not conclusive but can be used to guide further research into yo-yo dieting.

The study emphasizes upon the need for maintaining stable, healthy lifestyle.  

Healthcare providers should pay attention to the variability in measurements of a patient’s blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels as well as body weight. Trying to stabilize these measurements may be an important step in helping them improve their health.”

Professor Seung-Hwan Lee, Co-author

Source:

Associations of Variability in Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol Concentrations, and Body Mass Index With Mortality and Cardiovascular Outcomes in the General Population.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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