January 2, 2019 – Weight History


Anchor lead: Can knowing someone’s weight over time more precisely indicate their heart disease risk? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for heart failure. Now new research by Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, has shown that weight history is also informative.

Michos: If we ask patients about their lifetime weights at key time points at age 20 and at age 40 would that offer any additional prognostic information about their risk? And we found that those that self-reported higher weights at age 20  had a threefold increased risk of developing heart failure even after we accounted for their current weight. Just having that additional history was associated with a threefold increased risk and weight that at age 40 was obese was associated with a twofold increased risk.  :32

Michos says helping identify risk better is an important goal, and asking about how weight has changed over time is a simple thing to do with important implications. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.