(HealthDay News) – Weight loss is associated with long-term improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors, according to a study published online Dec. 18 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Caitlin A. Dow, PhD, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues sought to identify predictors of weight loss-associated cardiometabolic risk factor variation among 417 overweight/obese women participating in a weight loss trial. At baseline and at 12 and 24 months, total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-HDL-C, triglycerides, insulin, glucose, C-reactive protein (CRP), and cardiopulmonary fitness were measured.

The researchers identified significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference, CRP, TC, HDL-C, and non-HDL-C (P<0.01) after 24 months. At this time point, reductions in LDL-C, CRP, insulin, and triglycerides were seen only for those who lost ≥10% of their body weight, while reductions in TC and non-HDL-C were seen irrespective of the amount of weight loss. After 24 months, only those who lost ≥10% of their body weight experienced improvement in step-test performance. Weight change had a positive predictive value for cholesterol, insulin, glucose, and triglyceride changes. For insulin, cholesterol, glucose, and triglycerides, baseline biomarker levels showed the greatest predictive value for follow-up measures.

“Our data extend the results from short-term weight loss trials and suggest that the magnitude of weight loss and baseline values for risk factors are associated with improvements in cardiometabolic risk factors even after 24 months,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Jenny Craig.

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