Increased Risk of Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women With History of Weight Cycling Interview with:

Somwail Rasla, MD Internal Medicine Resident Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Brown University

Dr. Somwail Rasla

Somwail Rasla, MD
Internal Medicine Resident
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
Brown University What is the background for this study?

Response: Weight cycling has been studied as a possible risk factors for all-cause mortality and was found to be insignificant in some studies and significant in other studies when adjusted to age and timing of when the weight cycling occurred. It was proposed that weight cycling may increase risk of chronic inflammation by which weight cycling was considered to be a risk factor for increased morbidity and all cause mortalities. Other studies have reported that frequent weight cycling was associated with shorter telomere length, which is a risk factor for several comorbidities including CHD. Earlier studies showed that weight cycling has an association with increase in size of adipocytes as well as fluctuation of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, and glucagon which may contribute to the increased incidence of diabetes. Alternatively, in the nurses’ health study , weight cycling was not predictive of cardiovascular or total mortality. What are the main findings?

Response: Over 11.4 years of follow-up (, 2526 CHD deaths occurred and 83 SCDs were adjudicated by strict criterion. Compared to non-weight cyclers, weight cycling was associated with greater risk of SCD and CHD mortality among women who were normal weight at WHI enrollment (HR=3.44 95% CI: 1.25- 9.45 for SCD; HR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.38-2.01 for CHD mortality). Weight cycling was not associated with SCD or CHD mortality among overweight or obese women . Neither steady weight gain nor weight loss were associated with risk of SCD or CHD mortality. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In normal weight women between the ages of 55 and 79, women with a history of weight cycling compared to women who had a history of stable weight, were associated with greater risk of SCD and CHD mortality. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: More research needs to be performed before any recommendations can be made for clinical care regarding the risks of weight cycling. However, this study adds to the literature that weight cycling maybe harmful due to fluctuations in inflammatory and other metabolic products even in normal weight women. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This study results should be viewed cautiously due to its limitations of being observational in nature and not a clinical trial. The data was obtained was from self-reported weight cycling in adulthood prior to menopause and not from actual measurements. The number of cases with sudden cardiac death are relatively small and therefore chance findings could explain our results, however we see a similar pattern in CHD mortality which has a larger numbers of cases.

The results only apply to postmenopausal women and not younger aged women or men. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Abstract presented at November 2016 AHA meeting

Rasla S et al. Garas M, Roberts MB et al. Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death and Coronary Heart Disease Mortality in Postmenopausal Women With History of Weight Cycling. American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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