This depends on the individual. Many older women who are healthy, but who are overweight, and whose BMI is greater than 30, are not considered obese. The standard cutoff for morbid obesity is a BMI of 30 or greater (the BMI for people of normal weight is 25). Most people with high body mass indexes (BMI higher than 30) generally have normal (but not weight loss) body weight.
What is the relationship between weight loss and survival after heart failure?
Weight loss can improve survival after heart failure. One study compared men with heart failure and those with normal weight, and found women with heart failure were about 4-10 percent less likely to die within a year of initial presentation than women with normal weight. However, women without heart failure are about 8-20 percent more likely to die within 1 year if they had undergone surgery to correct their heart failure (about 15 percent higher than women with heart failure who did not undergo surgery). Also, men with heart failure have a higher risk of having a heart attack and a higher risk of dying during a heart attack. There are other risk factors associated with death, including physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, and having diabetes. Weight loss also reduces the risk of heart disease.
What other factors are linked with poor survival after heart failure?
For many years, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels were thought to be associated with poorer outcomes after heart failure. The evidence for that was not very encouraging. But after the introduction of statins for the treatment of high cholesterol and hypertension in the 1980s, both of these risk factors have been shown to reduce the risk of heart failure. This supports the concept that these risk factors prevent heart failure, and does not support any association between high cholesterol and poorer outcomes.
In the 1990s, other factors related to diabetes or hypertension and physical activity were studied. A number of epidemiologic studies have shown that, for these two risk factors, there is a positive relationship with poor outcomes.
The evidence for this is stronger for physical activity and smoking than for high cholesterol. But a recent meta-analysis suggests that smoking also may be protective against mortality after heart failure.
Other risk factors for poorer outcome after heart failure, including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, may be associated with better survival. These include having a pacemaker, an electronic medical record, or a device that allows a doctor to check your health status, or if you have had surgery, to check for abnormal
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