Achievement of Guideline-Recommended Weight Loss Among Patients With Ischemic Stroke and Obesity

Stroke. 2019 Mar;50(3):713-717. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.024008.


Background and Purpose- The proportion of patients with acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) and obesity who successfully achieve goals for weight reduction recommended by major professional organizations is unknown. Methods- We examined the experience of participants in the placebo group of the IRIS trial (Insulin Resistance Intervention after Stroke) with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 at entry. Patients were of age ≥40 years, with a qualifying stroke or TIA within 180 days of randomization and documented insulin resistance without diabetes mellitus. Weights at baseline and at years 1 and 2 after entry were analyzed to determine the proportion of patients achieving a 5% weight loss and achievement of body mass index <27 kg/m2. Results- Of 1937 subjects assigned to placebo, 855 (44%) had obesity at entry. Median age of these 855 subjects was 60 years (interquartile range, 53-68), 41% were women, and median time from stroke/TIA to trial entry was 79 days. Among 788 subjects in the trial at 1 year, 166 (21%) had lost at least 5% of their starting weight and 12 (2%) had achieved a body mass index <27 kg/m2. One hundred nine (14%) participants gained at least 5% of their baseline weight at 1 year. Among 744 subjects in the trial at 2 years, 185 (25%) had lost at least 5% of their baseline weight and 23 (3%) had achieved a body mass index <27 kg/m2. One hundred forty (19%) participants gained at least 5% of their starting weight at 2 years. Conclusions- Only one quarter of obese patients with a recent ischemic stroke or TIA lost a clinically significant amount of weight after their vascular event. Many patients gained weight. Enhancing weight loss after ischemic stroke or TIA may help improve functional outcome and reduce risk for future vascular events, but clinical trials are needed to test and confirm these potential benefits.

Keywords: body mass index; obesity; stroke; transient ischemic attack; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss*