Mildly obese fare better after MI

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The findings should prompt doctors to focus more on MI patients with normal BMI.

While many patients will make efforts to improve their lifestyle following myocardial infarction (MI), findings from a new study suggest it may not be wise for those who are overweight or mildly obese to try to lose weight aggressively in the initial period after a heart attack.

After examining data from 19,499 patients discharged following an MI, scientists found that in the three years after an attack, people considered mildly obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30-34.9kg/m2 were 30 per cent more likely to survive and spent fewer days in hospital than those of normal weight (BMI between 18.5-24.9kg/m2). The author theorised that mildly obese patients fare better after MI because they have more energy reserves to combat the illness.

Dr Ian Neeland, cardiologist and first author of the study published in the  European Heart Journal: Quality of Care and Clinical Outcomes , said the findings should prompt doctors to focus more on MI patients with normal BMI and “not assume that just because they’re normal weight, that they’re probably going to be better off”.

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