Short-term changes of cardiovascular risk factors after a non-pharmacological body weight reduction program

A. Sartorio, C. L. Lafortuna, V. Vangeli, A. Tavani, C. Bosetti, C. La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To test the short-term effectiveness of a 3 week hospital-based body weight reduction (BWR) program on selected coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors in obese subjects. Design: Intervention study to assess the modifications in CHD risk factor scores estimated according to Framingham risk factor categories (age, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and smoking). Setting: 3rd Division of Metabolic Diseases, Italian Institute for Auxology, Piancavallo (VB), Italy. Subjects: Two-hundred and sixty-eight obese patients (43 men, 225 women, age range 19-81 y; body mass index (BMI) range 30-67). Intervention: The BWR program consisted of a 3 week integrated energy-restricted diet (1200-1800 kcal/day), associated with moderate aerobic exercise, psychological counselling and educational lectures. Results: Substantial reductions of total cholesterol (16.7%), HDL cholesterol (14.8%), systolic (11.2%) and diastolic blood pressure (8.7%) were observed at the end of the intervention, even with relatively moderate decrease in weight (4.1%) and in persistence of elevated BMI (over 40 kg/m2). The mean CHD Framingham score decreased by 16.1%, from 7.8 to 6.2. The BWR-induced changes were similar in both sexes, and across strata of age and BMI. Conclusions: The full-time participation of the patients in the hospital-based, integrated BWR program may explain the positive clinical outcome in all the subgroups considered, although the long-term results need to be quantified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-869
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention
  • Primary health care
  • Weight reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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