Weight Loss and Its Predictors During Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation

      We aimed to assess the prevalence and magnitude of clinically meaningful weight loss among cardiac rehabilitation (CR) participants who were overweight or obese and identify its predictors. We analyzed subjects with body mass index (BMI) ≥25 who were enrolled in a 12-week CR outpatient program from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2019, and had paired pre- and post-CR weight data. Patients who lost 3% or more of their body weight by the end of the program were compared with the remaining participants. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine predictors of weight loss. Overall, 129 of 485 subjects (27%) with overweight or obesity reduced their weight by at least 3% (average percent weight change: −5.0% ± 1.8% vs −0.02% ± 2.2%, average weight change: −10.9 ± 5.0 vs −0.1 ± 4.4 pounds, and average BMI change: −1.7 ± 0.7 vs −0.02 ± 0.7 kg/m2). Compared with the remaining 356 patients, those who achieved the defined weight loss were younger (p = 0.016) and had higher baseline weight (p = 0.002) and BMI (p <0.001). The weight loss group tended to be enrolled more likely for an acute myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention (p <0.001) and less likely for coronary artery bypass grafting (p = 0.001) or a heart valve procedure (p = 0.05). By the end of the CR program, the weight loss group demonstrated a greater increase in Rate Your Plate – Heart score (7 [3, 11] vs 4 [1, 8]; p <0.001) and a greater decrease in triglycerides (−20 ± 45 vs −7 ± 55 mg/dL; p = 0.026) and glycated hemoglobin (−0.1 [−0.5, 0.1] vs 0.1 [−0.3, 0.4] %; p = 0.05, among patients with diabetes or prediabetes). In a multivariable logistic regression model, baseline predictors of clinically meaningful weight loss included higher BMI and not being enrolled for a surgical CR indication (p = 0.001). In conclusion, throughout 12 weeks of CR participation, 129 of 485 subjects (27%) with BMI ≥25 had a 3% or more reduction in body weight. Patients with higher baseline BMI and participants without a surgical enrollment diagnosis were more likely to achieve the defined weight loss. Efforts to improve CR referral and enrollment for eligible patients with overweight and obesity should be encouraged, and suitable and efficient weight reduction interventions in CR settings need to be further studied.


      AACVPR (American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation), BMI (Body Mass Index), CR (Cardiac Rehabilitation), CVD (Cardiovascular Diseases), ACC (American College of Cardiology)
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