Yo-Yo Dieting Is Bad for Your Heart

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Research published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, confirms earlier studies suggesting that people whose weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar levels fluctuate have a higher risk for heart attack and stroke than people with more stable readings. This observational study used data from the Korean National Health Insurance system and is the first research to show that:

  • Variability in these health markers has a negative impact on relatively healthy people
  • Having variability in more than one health marker increases heart attack and stroke risk even further

The study involved data on 6,748,773 people with no history of heart attack, diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol who had at least three health exams between 2005 and 2012 that included measurement of their body weight, fasting blood sugar, systolic blood pressure (top number), and total cholesterol measurements. The researchers looked at positive and negative changes greater than 5 percent and found that variability — positive or negative — was associated with a higher risk of death.

According to the researchers, during the average 5.5-year follow-up, and compared to study participants with stable measurements, the top 25 percent with the highest variability in health factors measured were:

  • 127 percent more likely to have died
  • 43 percent more likely to have had a heart attack
  • 41 percent more likely to have had a stroke

Sourced from: American Heart Association