Reduce Risk for Heart Failure
Heart failure is the most common reason for older people to be admitted to the hospital. By tracking the body’s natural warning signs for heart failure, doctors and their patients may be able to prevent this dangerous condition. Yale researchers set out to study if:
- changes in weight lead to increased heart failure; and
- weight gain is a risk factor or an indicator for upcoming hospitalization.
Older people with heart failure who participated in this study weighed themselves daily on an electronic scale in their homes. The scale was attached to a computer through a phone line. The computer stored their daily weight. Nurses were able to review their weight every day. People who were hospitalized due to heart failure were compared to those who were not hospitalized.
Results showed a link between weight gain and heart failure:
- A weight gain of 2 pounds or more within a week led to a
greater risk for hospitalization.
Heart failure means that the heart’s pumping ability is weaker than normal. The heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body’s needs.
A small increase in body weight leads to increased heart failure and hospitalization in people who have a history of heart failure.
Source: Chaudry S, Wang Y, Concato J, Gill T, Krumholz H. Patterns of weight changed preceding hospitalization for heart failure. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (2007); Vol 116: pp: 1549-1554.