Objective: We assessed the effect of weight loss on blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate during rest, psychological stress, and recovery after stress.
Methods: Two groups of men completed two mental stress tests 12 wk apart. The control group continued their usual diet, whereas the weight-loss group underwent a dietary weight-loss program in which they were randomized to a high-fruit/vegetable and low-fat dairy diet or a low-fat diet.
Results: Fifty-five men with a baseline BP of 125.9 ± 6.9/83.6 ± 7.1 mmHg (mean ± SD) completed the study (weight-loss group, n = 28; control group, n = 27). The weight-loss group lost weight (mean ± SEM, −4.3 ± 0.3 versus +0.4 ± 0.4 kg, P = 0.001) compared with controls and had a significant decrease in resting systolic BP (SBP; −2.0 ± 1.1% versus +2.0 ± 1.1%, P < 0.05). There was a greater decrease in SBP (P < 0.05) and pulse rate (P < 0.05) at all time points during the stress test in the weight loss compared with the control group. At week 12, SBP in 23 (82%) subjects in the weight-loss group and 24 (89%) in the control group returned to resting levels, with recovering levels in the weight-loss group returning to resting levels 6.1 ± 2.6 min earlier than in the control group (P < 0.05). There was an overall greater decrease in diastolic BP (DBP; P < 0.05) and DBP during recovery up to 27 min after stress (P < 0.05) in the high-fruit/vegetable and low-fat dairy diet group (n = 14) compared with the low-fat diet group (n = 14).
Conclusion: A 5% loss of weight decreased BP during rest and returned SBP to resting levels faster, thus decreasing the period of increased BP as a result of mental stress, which is likely to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in the long term.
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Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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