Wood Street Clinic Blog

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Work and family demands may impact women's heart health

Researchers believe that stress and cardiovascular health are linked in some way, but the association is not yet fully clear. A large-scale new study has recently delved into the effects of a unique kind of stress.

woman working with baby on her lapShare on PinterestBalancing work and family life puts a strain on women's heart health.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stress may affect factors that increase the risk of heart disease, including blood pressure and cholesterol level.

One major source of stress is the workplace.

In fact, a 2015 review of 27 studies that appeared in the journal Current Cardiology Reports found an association between work stress and a "moderately elevated risk of incident coronary heart disease and stroke."

However, one type of stress that researchers often leave out of studies is that felt by a person who needs to simultaneously balance the demands of work and family life.

Examining this in more depth may eventually help health professionals better identify and treat cardiovascular issues. This is according to the authors of the new study, which now appears in the Journal of the American Heart Association.What is work-family conflict?Cardiovascular diseases are currently the leading cause of death worldwide, say the World Health Organization (WHO).Health professionals can determine people's cardiovascular health score. Based on seven metrics including diet, blood pressure, and physical activity levels, the researchers who conducted the new study used this score to investigate how work and family stress can impact heart health.According to the study paper, work-family conflict refers to "a form of inter-role conflict in which the role pressures from the work and family domains are mutually incompatible in some respect."More than 11,000 workers ages 35–74, from six state capitals in Brazil, made up the study's sample. The participants came from a variety of educational and work backgrounds, and the study included a slightly higher number of women.Each participant filled out a questionnaire to determine how their job affected their family life, and how their family life impacted their work.The researchers calculated the participants' cardiovascular health scores using a combination of clinical examinations, laboratory test results, and self-reported questionnaires.An unequal impactThe analysis showed a distinct sex difference. Men reported less work interference with family and more time for personal care and leisure. Both sexes reported a similar amount of family interference with work.However, women appeared to be worse off. Those who reported a number of frequent work-family conflicts had lower cardiovascular health scores."This was interesting because in our previous study, job stress alone affected men and women almost equally," says senior study author Dr. Itamar Santos, a professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.There could be a simple explanation as to why this is the case, and it has to do with traditional gender roles. "You feel the stress to fulfill the gender roles, and I think women still feel more of a need to have that nurturing home life," says Dr. Gina Price Lundberg, clinical director of the Emory Women's Heart Center in Atlanta, GA."Men are helping more than ever, but I think working women still feel the stress of trying to do it all." She goes on to describe the study as "well-designed," due to its large sample size, the diverse background of the participants, and the balance of men and women.However, certain elements of the study relied on the participants' own thoughts and feelings, which may have biased the results.How to live with stressWhat this study has dipped into is the need for a good work-life balance. However, this is easier said than done in many cases.Dr. Santos hopes that the new findings will encourage workplaces to introduce stress reducing initiatives and encourage doctors to look for signs of stress when examining people."We're not going to eliminate stress," Dr. Santos says. "But we should learn how to live with it to not have so many bad consequences."Whether that would be through measures such as at-home meditation or employer-led strategies is yet to be determined.Dr. Santos and team are now planning to follow the same participants for up to a decade to gain further insight.
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What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound image of the heart. It can help doctors diagnose a range of heart problems.

Doctors use echocardiograms to help them diagnose heart problems, such as damaged cardiac tissue, chamber enlargement, stiffening of the heart muscle, blood clots in the heart, fluid around the heart, and damaged or poorly functioning heart valves.

In this article, we explain how doctors use echocardiograms, what to expect during the test, and how to interpret the results.

What is an echocardiogram? a screen showing an echocardiogram
An echocardiogram helps a doctor diagnose heart problems.

Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to create a picture of the heart, called an echocardiogram (echo).

It is a noninvasive medical procedure that produces no radiation and does not typically cause side effects.

During an echocardiogram, a doctor can see:

the size and thickness of the chambers how the valves of the heart are functioning the direction of blood flow through the heart any blood clots in the heart areas of damaged or weak cardiac muscle tissue problems affecting the pericardium, which is the fluid filled sac around the heart

Doctors also use echocardiography when they want to examine a person's general heart health, especially after a heart attack or stroke.

Thank you for supporting Medical News Today What are they used for? Doctors can use echocardiograms to: determine how well the heart is pumping blood assess the reasons for an abnormal electrical test of the heart, called an electrocardiogram (EKG) diagnose heart disease — including weak pumping or stiffening of the heart muscle, leaky or blocked heart valves, and chamber enlargement — in adults locate blood clots or tumors assess the pressure in the heart to diagnose a condition called pulmonary hypertension identify congenital heart abnormalities in infants and young children monitor how well the heart responds to different heart treatments, such as heart failure medications, artificial valves, and pacemakers A doctor will order an echocardiogram if they suspect that someone has heart problems. Signs and symptoms that may indicate a heart condition include: an irregular heartbeat shortness of breath high or low blood pressure leg swelling abnormal EKG results unusual sounds between heartbeats, known as heart murmurs Types of echocardiogram Doctors can order different types of echocardiogram, all of which use high frequency sound waves. The common types include those below. Transthoracic echocardiogram a doctor doing an echocardiogram on a male patient.
All types of echocardiogram use high frequency sound waves. The transthoracic echocardiogram is the most common type of echocardiogram test. This test involves placing an ultrasound wand called a transducer on the outside of the chest, near the heart. The device sends sound waves through the chest and into the heart. The application of a gel to the chest helps the sound waves travel better. These waves bounce off the heart and create images of the heart structures on a screen. Transesophageal echocardiogram A transesophageal echocardiogram uses a thinner transducer that attaches to the end of a long tube. The individual will swallow the tube to insert it into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth and stomach, which runs behind the heart. This type of echocardiogram provides more detailed pictures of the heart compared with the traditional transthoracic echocardiogram because it gives a "close up" view of this organ. Doppler ultrasound Doctors use doppler ultrasounds to check the flow of blood. They do this by generating sound waves at specific frequencies and determining how the sound waves bounce off and return to the transducer. Doctors can use colored doppler ultrasounds to map the direction and velocity of blood flow in the heart. Blood that flows toward the transducer appears red, while blood that flows away looks blue. The results of a doppler ultrasound can reveal problems with valves or holes in the walls of the heart and assess how the blood is traveling through it. Three-dimensional echocardiogram A three-dimensional (3D) echocardiogram creates detailed 3D images of the heart. Doctors can use 3D echocardiograms to: assess valve functionality in people who have heart failure diagnose heart problems in infants and children plan heart valve or structural interventional surgery assess the function of the heart in 3D image complex structures within the heart Stress echocardiogram A doctor can order an echocardiogram as part of a stress test. A stress test involves physical exercise, such as walking or jogging on a treadmill. During the test, the doctor will monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and the heart's electrical activity. A sonographer will take a transthoracic echocardiogram before and after the exercise. Doctors use stress tests to diagnose: Fetal echocardiogram Doctors can use a fetal echocardiogram to view an unborn baby's heart. This exam usually takes place at about 18–22 weeks of pregnancy. Echocardiograms do not use radiation, so they are not harmful to the woman or baby. Echocardiogram procedure Echocardiograms are noninvasive and relatively quick procedures that require minimal preparation. Below, we discuss what to expect before, during, and after an echocardiogram. Preparation In cases where a healthcare professional takes the echocardiogram from the outside of the body, the person will not need to prepare. For people who get a transesophageal echocardiogram, a doctor will recommend avoiding eating or drinking anything for at least 4 hours before the exam. People can resume eating and drinking about 1–2 hours after the echocardiogram once the local anesthesia has worn off. During the test A sonographer will perform the echocardiogram. Sonographers are healthcare professionals who specialize in using ultrasound devices to produce images and videos for diagnostic purposes. During the test, the person receiving the echocardiogram will remove their clothes from the waist up. They can wear a hospital gown if they wish to cover themselves during the exam. The sonographer will then instruct the person to lie on a table, on either their back or their left side. They may inject a saline solution or dye into the person's veins, which makes the heart appear more defined on the echocardiogram. The exact procedure depends on the type of echocardiogram. For instance: Transthoracic echocardiogram If a doctor ordered a transthoracic echocardiogram, the sonographer will apply a gel to the chest. The sonographer will then move the transducer around the chest to get different images of the heart. During the exam, the sonographer may ask someone to change positions or take or hold a deep breath. They might press the transducer into the chest to get a better picture of the heart. Transesophageal echocardiogram A doctor might order a transesophageal echocardiogram if they want more detailed or clearer images of the heart than those that a transthoracic echocardiogram can produce. During a transesophageal echocardiogram, the person may receive a mild sedative to help relax the muscles in their throat and a local anesthetic to numb the gag reflex. Once the sedative takes effect, a doctor will guide a small transducer on the end of a long tube down the throat and esophagus until it reaches the back of the heart. The sonographer will record images of the heart as the doctor moves the transducer around the esophagus. The person should not feel the transducer or the tube in their esophagus after initially swallowing the probe. After the test Most people can return to their regular activities after having a transthoracic echocardiogram. People who have a transesophageal echocardiogram may need to stay at the hospital or healthcare clinic for a few hours after the exam. They may have a sore throat initially, but it should improve within a few hours to a day. People who received a sedative before the exam should not drive for several hours after the echocardiogram. Interpreting the results After the exam, the sonographer will send the echocardiographic images to the doctor who ordered the test. The doctor will review the images and look for signs of heart problems, such as: damaged heart muscle tissue thick or thin ventricle walls abnormal chamber size poorly functioning valves decreased pumping strength masses in the heart, such as blood clots or tumors Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Echocardiogram vs. electrocardiogram People should not confuse an echocardiogram with another diagnostic test called an EKG. An EKG measures the electrical impulses or waves that travel through cardiac muscle tissue. The electrical activity in the heart causes the heart muscle tissues to contract and relax, which creates the rhythmic heartbeat that people can hear through a stethoscope. A trained technician, nurse, or doctor can take an EKG by placing electrodes on the skin of the chest, arms, or legs. These electrodes record electrical activity and send the information to a computer that converts it into a graph, which a doctor can print out. Are there any side effects? a woman experiencing left sided facial numbness and a headache
A person may experience headaches from contrast dyes. An echocardiogram presents a very low risk of side effects or complications. A transesophageal electrocardiogram may trigger a person's gag reflex when the sonographer guides the tube down the throat. People may also have a sore throat after the exam. Very rarely, a serious complication can occur as a result of the transesophageal echocardiogram, such as damage to the throat, vocal cords, or esophagus. The use of local anesthetics, sedatives, and contrast dyes during the exam may trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Contrast dyes can cause the following side effects: Some people may experience changes in blood pressure or a decrease in the supply of oxygen to the heart during a stress test. A stress test will take place in a fully equipped medical facility in case a person experiences any complications during the exam. Whenever a person receives sedatives, there is a chance that the stomach contents may enter the lungs. To prevent this, the doctor will ask the individual to attend the procedure with an empty stomach. Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Summary Doctors use echocardiography to diagnose problems that affect the heart. During the test, a doctor will evaluate how well a person's heart pumps blood. Doctors can also use echocardiography to look for signs of heart disease, such as weak heart muscle, blood clots inside the heart, or poorly functioning heart valves. A doctor might order an echocardiogram if a person shows symptoms of heart conditions, such as: shortness of breath leg swelling heart murmurs irregular heartbeat abnormal blood pressure In general, the test carries a low risk of significant complications or side effects. However, people may feel some discomfort, and some individuals can have an allergic reaction to the contrast material or anesthetic.
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Atrial fibrillation: Daily alcoholic drink riskier than binge drinking

A new study suggests that drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently rather than having infrequent bouts of binge drinking is more likely to increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation (A-fib), a condition in which the heart beats irregularly.

close up of red wine being pouredShare on PinterestNew research suggests that drinking daily may harm the heart's regular rhythm more than binge drinking.

"Recommendations about alcohol consumption have focused on reducing the absolute amount rather than the frequency," says study author Dr. Jong-Il Choi, a professor in the department of internal medicine at the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul.

"Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation," he adds.

Prof. Choi, who also works at the Korea University Anam Hospital in Seoul, and his colleagues report their findings in a recent EP Europace study paper.

A-fib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats too quickly, too slowly, or in an irregular way.

Prof. Choi observes that "atrial fibrillation is a disease with multiple dreadful complications and significantly impaired quality of life."

The common symptoms of A-fib include an irregular or fast pulse, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and chest pain.

Between 2.7 and 6.1 million people in the United States have A-fib, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A-fib causes and consequences

It is sometimes difficult to say what causes A-fib. However, it appears that damage to the heart's electrical system is often to blame. This damage can happen as a result of heart disease or as a complication of heart surgery. Other conditions, such as chronic uncontrolled high blood pressure, can also affect the heart in this way.One of the main effects of A-fib is that it causes blood to pool in the lower chambers of the heart, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of clotting.The potential for clotting is the main reason why the risk of stroke is four to five times higher in people with A-fib than in people without the condition.An earlier pooled analysis of data from several studies had found that the chances of developing A-fib went up in line with increasing alcohol consumption.Those findings showed that for every 12 grams of alcohol — roughly the amount in a single drink — that a person consumed per week, there was an 8% higher risk of A-fib.However, that analysis did not clarify whether the total alcohol consumption or the number of drinking episodes had the strongest effect.Frequent drinking vs. binge drinkingIn the new study, Dr. Choi and colleagues compared the effect of frequent drinking with that of binge drinking on the risk of new-onset A-fib.They analyzed data on 9,776,956 individuals in the Korean National Health Insurance Service database, which holds records on nearly everybody in the Republic of Korea.None of the individuals in the analysis had A-fib when, as part of a health checkup in 2009, they completed a survey about alcohol intake.Using the database records, the researchers were able to track these individuals through to 2017 to spot any occurrences of A-fib.They assessed the effect of weekly alcohol consumption — which they calculated by multiplying the number of drinking sessions per week by the amount of alcohol consumed in each session — on the risk of new-onset A-fib.Daily consumption riskier than binge drinkingThe analysis revealed weekly alcohol intake to be a significant risk factor for new-onset A-fib.However, the team found that the strongest factor was drinking sessions per week. Having a daily drink of alcohol was associated with a higher risk of A-fib than drinking twice a week, while drinking once a week was less risky.In contrast, there was no link between consuming a large amount of alcohol in one session, or binge drinking, and new-onset A-fib."Drinking [a] small amount of alcohol frequently," conclude the authors, "may not be a good strategy to prevent new-onset A-fib."They note that the association between the number of drinking episodes and A-fib onset held regardless of sex and age.Speculating on the reason for the link, Prof. Choi suggests that alcohol could trigger an individual episode of A-fib and that if this keeps repeating, it could "lead to overt disease.""In addition," he notes, "drinking can provoke sleep disturbance, which is a known risk factor for [A-fib]."'Reduce frequency and weekly consumption'When they looked at weekly consumption of alcohol, the researchers saw that their results supported those of other studies.They saw a 2% rise in the risk of new-onset A-fib for each additional weekly gram of alcohol consumption.The results also showed what appeared to be a protective effect of mild alcohol intake compared both with no drinking and with moderate and high levels of consumption.Those who consumed no alcohol or drank moderate or high amounts had elevated risks of new-onset A-fib of 8.6%, 7.7%, and 21.5%, respectively, compared with mild drinkers.Prof. Choi proposes, however, that this might not be a "true benefit," but could be due to the "confounding effect of unmeasured variables." Only further studies can confirm this.He suggests that alcohol is likely to be the A-fib risk factor that people can alter most easily."To prevent new-onset atrial fibrillation, both the frequency and weekly amount of alcohol consumption should be reduced."Prof. Jong-Il Choi
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How does taurine affect the body?

Taurine is an amino acid that occurs naturally within the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The body uses proteins to grow and repair tissues.

Taurine occurs naturally in certain foods, such as meat and fish. It is also an added ingredient in some energy drinks.

Some people also take taurine as a dietary supplement. Taurine is popular in the health community for its potential to help stimulate metabolism. Some early research also suggests that taurine has additional benefits in the body, such as protecting the brain, heart, and immune system.

However, anyone considering taking taurine as a dietary supplement should talk to their doctor beforehand. Research into the potential benefits and risks of taurine is still in its early stages.

This article outlines the current research on the potential benefits and risks of taurine.

General roles of taurine in the body a woman enjoying the benefits of Taurine in an energy drink she is drinking.
Some energy drinks contain taurine.

Taurine is vital for a person's overall health. It is one of the most abundant amino acids in the muscle tissue, brain, and many other organs in the body.

Taurine plays a role in several essential body functions, such as:

regulating calcium levels in certain cells creating bile salts balancing electrolytes in the body supporting the development of the nervous system

As a 2012 review notes, a lack of taurine in the body may lead to a range of health complications, including:

kidney dysfunction developmental disorders damage to eye tissues cardiomyopathy, which is a significant risk factor for heart failure Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Potential benefits and risks of taurine Supplementing with taurine or getting plenty of taurine from dietary sources may have specific effects on the body. These effects may include: Promoting healthy metabolism Taurine plays an essential role in metabolism and digestion, as it helps the liver to create bile salts. Bile salts help break down fatty acids in the intestines. Bile acids are the body's main way of breaking down cholesterol. Each day, an adult breaks down about 500mg of cholesterol and converts it to bile. To do this, it needs specific amino acids, such as taurine. Protecting the eyes According to a 2014 review, taurine is the most plentiful amino acid in the retina of the eye and helps protect against retinal degeneration. The review also states that reduced amounts of taurine may play a role in eye disorders, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The research suggests that doctors should consider taurine as a potential treatment for these conditions. However, scientists have yet to conduct the necessary clinical trials. Protecting the heart a older man having a jog and listening to music.
Taurine may help those with heart problems to exercise more. Scientists have identified a link between a lack of taurine and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a condition that causes the heart to work harder than it should. It is a major risk factor for congestive heart failure. A 2014 review indicates that taurine helped slow the progression of atherosclerosis in animals. Atherosclerosis refers to a buildup of fatty deposits or plaque within the arteries due to high cholesterol levels. This condition is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke. A 2017 study investigated the effects of taurine supplements and exercise in people with heart failure. People who exercised before and after taking taurine for 2 weeks showed lower levels of blood cholesterol and inflammation, compared to those who took a placebo. Protecting the muscles The muscles contain high levels of taurine. It helps to ensure proper muscle function and protects against muscle damage. According to a 2015 review, taurine could also play an important role in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy. However, there is a need for more research in this area. Protecting against brain aging Taurine may have a protective effect on the brain. As a 2017 review posted to Brain Defects Research notes, taurine supplementation works to promote healthy long-term memory storage. According to the review, the amount of taurine in the brain decreases with age. Taurine supplementation may help to maintain these levels across the lifespan. Some scientists believe that this could fend off certain age-related neurodegenerative conditions. A 2014 animal study investigated the effects of taurine supplementation in mice with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Some mice received the 6-week taurine supplementation, while some received a placebo. Mice that received the taurine showed improvements in Alzheimer-like learning and memory deficits. Further research is necessary to determine whether these same benefits apply to humans. Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Protecting against neurological conditions According to the review in Brain Defects Research, taurine imbalance also seems to play a role in epilepsy, autism, particularly in people who have experienced a brain injury. Animal studies have consistently shown that taurine helps alleviate symptoms of neurotoxicity and neurological impairment in rodents. However, there is currently insufficient evidence to confirm whether taurine helps to protect against specific neurological conditions in humans. Improving exercise performance Though there is limited research in the area, taurine may boost exercise performance in some people. A 2013 study investigated whether taurine supplementation would improve exercise performance in trained runners. Eight male runners took part in the study, which involved a 3km time trial on two separate occasions. Each participant took a taurine supplement on one occasion, and a placebo pill on the other. Time trial performances were significantly better after taking taurine compared to placebo. Overall, the runners in the taurine condition saw a 1.7%improvement in their time. However, taurine ingestion did not significantly affect heart rate, oxygen uptake, or concentrations of lactic acid in the blood. As such, it is still not clear how taurine improves exercise performance. Thank you for supporting Medical News Today Improving markers of diabetes A 2012 animal study investigated the effects of taurine on glucose and fat metabolism in diabetic rats. Rats that were fed a taurine-supplemented diet for 12 weeks showed the following improvements compared to rats that received the placebo: However, further research is necessary to determine whether taurine provides the same benefits in humans with diabetes. Be aware of other ingredients a woman looking at a can of drink in a supermarket.
When choosing taurine products, people need to be aware of other ingredients they might be consuming. In general, energy drinks that contain taurine also tend to contain high amounts of sugar. A diet that is high in sugar is damaging to health. Most energy drinks also contain a large dose of caffeine. As such, excessive consumption of energy drinks can result in caffeine intoxication (CI). This can result in the following: Energy drinks also tend to combine caffeine with other supplements, many of which have no known safety profile. According to a 2012 review, the adverse health effects of energy drinks may be particularly severe in teenagers and young adults. However, it is important to note that taurine may help to counteract some of the adverse health effects of caffeine. A 2014 review article concluded that taurine might protect against the cardiovascular effects of drinking too much caffeine in adults. However, further research is necessary to confirm that this is the case. Takeaway Taurine plays a vital role in several essential body functions. Research into the potential benefits of taurine supplementation is still in its early stages, and most studies involve animals. Researchers must carry out high quality human studies to establish how taurine may affect human health. Nonetheless, taurine supplementation does not appear to cause any significant side effects. However, anyone who is considering taking taurine should talk to their doctor for guidance, and to check for any possible drug interactions.
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Type 2 diabetes: Weight regain reduces cardiovascular benefits

Recent studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes who lose weight lower their risk of cardiovascular problems. But what happens if, after a time, they regain the weight they had lost?
older man checking his weight at doctors cabinet
New research warns that maintaining weight loss is crucial when it comes to reducing diabetes-associated cardiovascular risk.

Overweight and obesity are two of the top risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, a metabolic condition in which the body is unable to process blood sugar effectively.

Once someone does develop diabetes, doctors will often suggest making dietary adjustments, not just to help keep blood sugar levels in check but also for weight loss.

The aim of this intervention is to help reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems that have an association with diabetes.

Studies have confirmed that the more weight a person with diabetes loses, the more their cardiovascular risk diminishes. What happens, though, if a person regains some or all of that weight at some point?

That is the question that researchers from Tufts University in Boston, MA, and the University of Connecticut in Storrs aimed to answer in a recent study.

The study results — which appear in the Journal of the American Heart Association — suggest that maintaining weight loss is just as important as losing weight in the first place when it comes to keeping heart disease and health events, such as stroke, at bay.

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The research team analyzed the data of 1,561 individuals with type 2 diabetes who took part in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial. The program helped participants lose weight by forming more healthful eating habits and increasing their levels of physical activity.

The participants also received standard care for type 2 diabetes, which included information on managing this condition and targeted support.

The current trial looked at the data from participants who had an initial weight loss of at least 3% body weight as part of the 1 year intensive lifestyle intervention. They also looked at the follow-up data that Look AHEAD collected 4 years after the lifestyle intervention.

As part of the 3 year maintenance phase following the 1 year intervention, the participants attended monthly group meetings. They also continued to receive dietary recommendations and to participate in their physical activity program.

The researchers found that the people who had regained all or some of the weight that they had initially lost experienced a "deterioration" of the cardiovascular risk reduction that weight loss had provided.

In contrast, individuals with type 2 diabetes who had shed at least 10% of their initial body weight as part of the trial and managed to keep at least 75% of that weight off over the 4 year follow-up period maintained the cardiovascular benefits or even experienced an increase in risk reduction.

The risk factors that improved in people who lost weight and then maintained this weight loss included high density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as "good" cholesterol), triglycerides, glucose (sugar), blood pressure, waist circumference, and overall diabetes symptom control.

"Our findings suggest that in addition to focusing on weight loss, an increased emphasis should be placed on the importance of maintaining the weight loss over the long term," says senior author Prof. Alice Lichtenstein.

"The bottom line is that maintaining the majority of the weight loss is essential to reducing cardiovascular risk."

Senior author Prof. Alice Lichtenstein

Going forward, the researchers note that it is important to keep assessing the long term effects of regaining weight following a weight loss program to understand how it affects health risk in the context of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. They also state that it is important to focus on helping people maintain the initial weight loss to improve health outcomes.

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