Many obese patients don't get recommendations for weight loss after heart attack

January 24, 2023  11:45

Doctors do not always advise patients with heart problems and obesity to reduce their body weight. A large-scale study found that these recommendations were given to only half of the participants, regardless of their weight. Among obese patients, only 63.7% were told to eat a diet and 64.2% were told to increase physical activity.

An international team of scientists examined data from the EUROASPIRE IV and EUROASPIRE V heart health cohort studies, which were conducted in 29 countries from 2012 to 2017. They included more than 10,500 patients with coronary heart disease who were interviewed and clinically evaluated 6 to 24 months after hospitalization for a heart attack. Of these, a quarter were women and the mean age of the volunteers was 62.5 years. The results were published in the European Heart Journal - Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes.

At the time of admission, 34.9% of the patients were obese and another 46% were overweight. At the time of the study, 36.9% of participants were obese - that is, more were obese.

Participants who managed to lose 5 percent or more of their body weight after the heart attack had much lower rates of hypertension and diabetes compared with those who did not lose weight or gained even more weight. Those who lost weight reported improved physical well-being and mood, they also had a healthier diet than before hospitalization, exercised and underwent cardiac rehabilitation.

Doctors do not seem to view obesity as a serious medical problem that requires attention, guidance, and obvious advice on personal weight targets, the researchers said.

The best way to lose weight is to follow a healthy diet and regular physical activity. At the same time, it is not recommended to combine weight loss with quitting smoking, as it can lead to weight gain.

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