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Am J Clin Nutr. 1981 Apr;34(4):453-61.

Sudden death associated with very low calorie weight reduction regimens.

Abstract

We studied the cases of 17 individuals who died suddenly of ventricular arrhythmia after prolonged use (median 5 months) of very low calorie weight reduction regimens consisting entirely or largely of protein. The deaths appeared to be independent of type of medical supervision received during the diet, daily dosage of potassium supplementation, and biological quality of the protein product used. Factors common to all cases were marked obesity at the onset of dieting, prolonged use of extremely low calorie diets (approximately 300 to 400 kcal daily), and significant and rapid weight loss. Our review of available electrocardiograms and pathological specimens revealed a pattern of cardiac changes previously described in starvation. We conclude that use of very low calorie weight reduction regimens should be curtailed until further studies determine what modifications, if any, can insure their safety.

PMID:
7223697
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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