Feature | March 11, 2013

Weight Loss Linked to Higher Risk With ICD Implants

Study suggests increased monitoring of patients with unplanned weight loss

Weight Loss American College of Cardiology ICD Implants Risk

March 11, 2013 — Even minor weight loss is associated with worse health outcomes among patients implanted with a certain type of implantable cardioveter defibrillator known as cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D), according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 62nd Annual Scientific Session.

People with symptoms of heart failure who have an implantable CRT-D device may believe that losing weight will ultimately improve their long-term health outcomes. However, in the first study to look at weight loss and subsequent health outcomes among patients with a CRT-D, researchers found the opposite may be true.

“In patients with heart failure who receive a cardiac resynchronization device with defibrillator, unintended weight loss of just five pounds increases the risk of a serious cardiac event,” said Valentina Kutyifa, M.D., postdoctoral research associate at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the lead author of the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation with Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (MADIT-CRT) trial. “These findings suggest clinicians should be monitoring patients with unplanned weight loss more closely.”

Among the subset of patients who had a specific heart condition called a left bundle branch block, the risk of heart failure or death with weight loss doubled. CRT-D devices work by emitting small electronic impulses to coordinate the heart’s rhythm and improve the ability of the heart to pump blood in patients with heart failure, and by attempting to shock the heart back into a normal rhythm when dangerous heart rhythms are detected. CRT-Ds comprise one-third of all pacemakers.

In this study, nearly 1,000 patients who received a CRT-D were observed at 12 months after implantation. Of these, nearly one in five (17 percent) had lost more than 2 kilograms, or 4.4 pounds, during that time.

These patients had a significant increase in their risk of heart failure or death compared to those without significant weight loss. In fact, each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost correlated to a 4 percent higher risk of heart failure or death.

This study fits with other studies that have looked at the “obesity paradox,” wherein overweight patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes, have better health outcomes than those of normal weight. One reason for this paradox among CRT-D patients might be that heart failure causes the body to be in a catabolic state, meaning it has a high demand for energy. Heart failure patients without significant weight loss may have reserves that better allow their bodies to tolerate this high-energy demand, Kutyifa said.

Study authors caution that their findings are not a prescription for patients to pack on the pounds. “We would still recommend weight control under a physician’s supervision since we know that obesity is associated with other serious diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and sleep apnea,” Kutyifa said. “Heart failure patients should continue to follow their clinicians’ advice in regards to diet and lifestyle changes.”

According to Kutyifa, more research is needed to examine the effects of weight loss among heart failure patients with pacemakers in prospective clinical trials. The MADIT-CRT trial was supported by a research grant from Boston Scientific, St. Paul, Minn.

For more information: cardiosource.org

Related Content

BioTrace Medical, first U.S. patients, Tempo Temporary Pacing Lead, EP lab, TAVR
News | Leads Implantable Devices| January 13, 2017
BioTrace Medical Inc. announced in December the first commercial use of the company’s Tempo Temporary Pacing Lead since...
OCT, intravascular imaging, stent, good stent apposition on vessel wall, TRANSFORM-OCT study

An OCT image showing good stent strut apposition against the vessel wall.

News | Stents| January 13, 2017
January 13, 2017 — Results from TRANSFORM-OCT, a prospective, randomized trial using optical coherence tomography (OC
ACIST-FFR Study, enrollment complete, Navvus catheter, fractional flow reserve
News | FFR Catheters| January 12, 2017
Acist Medical Systems Inc. announced that enrollment is complete for its Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) Study –...
EXCEL Trial, TCT 2016, drug-eluting stents, CABG, surgery left main heart disease, LMCAD

Gregg W. Stone, M.D., presenting the EXCEL data at TCT 2016 during a standing room only late-breaking trial session.

Feature | Stents| January 12, 2017 | Dave Fornell
The biggest news from the 2016 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting this past fall was the results
atrial fibrillation patients, warfarin therapy, medication adherence, University of Michigan study, JAMA Cardiology
News | Antiplatelet and Anticoagulation Therapies| January 11, 2017
For patients with atrial fibrillation, the most common form of heart arrhythmia, a main goal of treatment is stroke...
ischemic heart failure, stem cell therapy, MSCs, CSCs, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, MHIF study
News | Heart Failure| January 10, 2017
Ischemic heart failure from previous heart attacks and coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the...
RECHORD Trial, Neochord DS1000 System, mitral regurgitation, PinnacleHealth, first Pennsylvania patient
News | Heart Valve Technology| January 06, 2017
The RECHORD trial allows cardiovascular surgeons to replace damaged string-like tendons, called chordae, through a...
short-term sleep deprivation, heart function, cardiac magnetic resonance, CMR, RSNA 2016
News | Cardiac Diagnostics| January 05, 2017
Too little sleep takes a toll on your heart, according to a new study presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the...
Overlay Init