Body Mass Index Change as a Predictor of Biometric Changes following an Intensive Lifestyle Modification Program

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Advances in preventive medicine

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The initial benefits of lifestyle modification programs such as reduction in chronic and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk factors have been well documented. However, such positive effects may deteriorate over time following relapse into inactivity. Timely detection of weight regain leading to the deterioration of the accrued benefits could trigger early resumption of intensive lifestyle intervention. To date, no known cost-effective, noninvasive approach for monitoring long-term outcomes has yet been established. The purpose of this study was to determine if body mass index (BMI) change predicted changes in other CVD biometric markers during an intensive lifestyle modification program. This study was an observational, retrospective review of records of participants from the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). Biomarker changes of participants in this community-based Intensive Therapeutic Lifestyle Modification Program (ITLMP) offered in Athens, Ohio, a rural Appalachian college town, between April 2011 and June 2017 were reviewed retrospectively. BMI, heart rate (Pulse), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and fasting blood levels of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides (TG), and glucose (FBS) were monitored before and after program completion. Data were analyzed using a multivariate general linear model. The sample analyzed consisted of 620 participants (mean age of 52.3±13.0 years, 74.5% female). Controlling for age and gender, BMI change significantly predicted 5 out of the 8 biomarker changes measured [Wilk's = 0.939, (8,526) = 4.29, <.0001]. Specifically, a 1-point BMI decrease was associated with 4.4 units decrease in TC, 3.2 units in LDL, 5.3 units in TG, 2 units in SBP, and 1 unit in DBP (all values < .05). These results suggest that change in BMI may be a useful predictor of change in other CVD biomarkers' outcomes during and after an ITLMP participation. Tracking BMI, therefore, could serve as a proxy measure for identifying regressing biomarker changes following participation in an ITLMP leading to a timelier reassessment and intervention. Future studies evaluating the value of BMI as a surrogate for highlighting overall cardiovascular health are warranted.



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