Weight Loss and Lipoproteins in Women

Weight Loss Is Correlated with an Improved Lipoprotein Profile in Obese Postmenopausal Women

Zaida R. Cordero-MacIntyre, PhD, Timothy G Lohman, PhD, Jason Rosen, BS, Warren Peters, MD, Richard C España, BS, Barbara Dickinson, M., RD, Phyllis M Reid, MS, Wanda H Howell, PhD,and Maria Luz Fernandez, PhD

School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California (Z.R.C.-M., W.P., R.C.E., B.D.); Departments of Physiology (T.G.L.) and Nutritional Sciences (P.M.R., W.H.H.), The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut (J.R., M.L.F.)

Background: Changes in plasma lipid and lipoprotein distributions that occur after menopause increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in women, especially in those who are overweight.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a nine-month weight reduction program on plasma lipids, dietary intake and abdominal fat obesity.

Design: A partial crossover design was used to study a weight loss treatment consisting of Phentermine hydrochloride (Fastin®, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Philadelphia, PA) therapy plus a low energy diet (5040 kJ/d). Forty-seven obese, postmenopausal Caucasian women (BMI of 30-38 kg/m2) were randomized into two groups, both of which received drug and diet treatment over six months. However, Group I started the intervention program three months later than Group II. Plasma total, HDL and LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol were measured, body composition was assessed by anthropometry and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and food frequency records were collected at four timepoints.

Results: Over nine months, women in Group II reduced body weight (14.4%), lowered plasma concentrations of LDL cholesterol (14 to 26%) and triacylglycerol (15%), and raised plasma HDL cholesterol concentration (15%). These plasma lipid changes decreased the total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio from 4.3 to 3.2. All subjects decreased abdominal fat measurements and energy and cholesterol intakes, as well as percentage of energy derived from total and saturated fat during the study. Most subjects also increased dietary fiber consumption.

Conclusion: Both weight loss and diet modifications are associated with an improved plasma lipid profile in obese postmenopausal women.

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