Lifestyle intervention of hypocaloric dieting and walking reduces abdominal obesity and improves coronary heart disease risk factors in obese, postmenopausal, African-American and Caucasian women

Barbara J. Nicklas, Karen E. Dennis, Dora M. Berman, John Sorkin, Alice S. Ryan, Andrew P. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. There are few empirical data to support the claim that weight loss improves coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors in postmenopausal women; nor is it known if there are racial differences in changes of body fat distribution, lipids, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure with weight loss. This study determined the efficacy of a lifestyle weight loss intervention in reducing total and abdominal obesity and improving CHD risk factors in obese Caucasian and African-American postmenopausal women. Methods. Body composition (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), abdominal fat areas (computed tomography scan), lipoprotein lipids, insulin, glucose tolerance, and blood pressure were measured before and after 6 months of hypocaloric diet and low-intensity walking in 76 overweight or obese (body mass index > 25 kg/m2), Caucasian (72%) or African-American (28%), postmenopausal (age = 60 ± 5 years) women who completed the study. Results. Absolute amount of body weight lost was similar in Caucasians (-5.4 ± 3.6 kg) and African Americans (-3.9 ± 3.6 kg), but Caucasian women lost relatively more fat mass (p < .05). Both groups decreased their subcutaneous abdominal fat, and Caucasian women decreased their visceral fat area, but there were no racial differences in the magnitude of abdominal fat lost. The intervention decreased triglyceride and increased high-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein 2 cholesterol in both races, and it decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in Caucasian women (p < .05-.0001). Fasting glucose and glucose area during the oral glucose tolerance test decreased (p < .0001) in Caucasian women, whereas insulin area decreased in both Caucasian (p < .01) and African-American (p < .05) women. Blood pressure decreased the most in women with higher blood pressures at baseline. Changes in lipids, fasting glucose and insulin, their responses during the oral glucose tolerance test, and blood pressure were not different between racial groups. Conclusions. Weight loss achieved through a lifestyle intervention of energy restriction and increased physical activity is an equally effective therapy in African-American and Caucasian obese, postmenopausal women for improving glucose and lipid CHD risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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