Effect of a low-fat or low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet on markers of cardiovascular risk among premenopausal women: A randomized trial

Randi E. Foraker, Michael Pennell, Peter Sprangers, Mara Z. Vitolins, Cecilia Degraffinreid, Electra D. Paskett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Low-fat and low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets can have a beneficial effect on longitudinal measures of blood pressure and blood lipids. We aimed to assess longitudinal changes in blood pressure and blood lipids in a population of premenopausal women. We hypothesized that results may differ by level of adherence to the respective diet protocol and baseline presence of hypertension or hyperlipidemia. Methods: Overweight or obese premenopausal women were randomized to a low-fat (n=41) or low-carbohydrate (n=38) diet. As part of the 52-week Lifestyle Eating and Fitness (LEAF) intervention trial, we fit linear mixed models to determine whether a change in outcome differed by treatment arm. Results: Within-group trends in blood pressure and blood lipids did not differ (p>0.30). Across study arms, there was a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP, 3 mm Hg, p=0.01) over time, but diastolic blood pressure (DBP) did not change significantly over the course of the study. Blood lipids (total cholesterol [TC], low-density lipoproteins [LDL], and high-density lipoproteins [HDL]) all exhibited nonlinear trends over time (p<0.01); each decreased initially but returned to levels comparable to baseline by study conclusion (p>0.20). We observed a decline in SBP among women who were hypertensive at baseline (p<0.01), but hypercholesterolemia at baseline did not affect trends in blood lipids (p>0.40). Conclusions: Our results support that dietary interventions may be efficacious for lowering blood pressure and blood lipids among overweight or obese premenopausal women. However, a decrease in SBP was the only favorable change that was sustained in this study population. These changes can be maintained over the course of a 1-year intervention, yet changes in blood lipids may be less sustainable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

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