The prevalence of overweight, obesity and insulin resistance in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) exceeds that of the general population. Obesity is associated with a constellation of coronary risk factors that predispose to the development and progression of CHD. Intentional weight loss, accomplished through behavioral weight loss and exercise, improves insulin sensitivity and associated cardio-metabolic risk factors such as lipid measures, blood pressure, measures of inflammation and vascular function both in healthy individuals and patients with CHD. Additionally, physical fitness, physical function and quality of life all improve. There is evidence that intentional weight loss prevents the onset of CHD in high risk overweight individuals. While weight loss associated improvements in insulin resistance, fitness and related risk factors strongly supports favorable prognostic effects in individuals with established CHD, further study is needed to determine if long-term clinical outcomes are improved.
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