Background: Coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors increase with age and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2). However, whether lifestyle intervention ameliorates metabolic CHD risk factors in obese older adults is unknown.
Objective: The objective was to determine whether lifestyle intervention improves metabolic CHD risk factors in obese older adults.
Design: A 6-mo outpatient randomized controlled trial was conducted in obese (BMI >or= 30) older (>or=65 y) adults randomly assigned to diet and exercise therapy (treatment group; n = 17) or no therapy (control group; n = 10). The main outcomes were CHD risk factors.
Results: Body weight decreased by 8.4% (8.2 kg) in the treatment group; weight did not change significantly (0.7 kg) in the control group (P < 0.001 between groups). Changes between the control and treatment groups, respectively, in waist circumference (1 and -10 cm), plasma glucose (4 and -4 mg/dL), serum triacylglycerols (0 and -45 mg/dL), and systolic (-2 and -10 mm Hg) and diastolic (0 and -8 mm Hg) blood pressure were different (P < 0.05 for all). The number of subjects with the metabolic syndrome decreased by 59% in the treatment group but did not change significantly in the control group (P < 0.05). Serum free fatty acids increased by 10 micromol/L in the control group and decreased by 99 micromol/L in the treatment group (P < 0.05). Changes between the control and treatment groups, respectively, in C-reactive protein (0.8 and -2.5 mg/L) and interleukin 6 (1.6 and -2.4 pg/mL) were different (P < 0.05 for both).
Conclusions: Lifestyle intervention decreases multiple metabolic CHD risk factors simultaneously in obese older adults.