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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Apr;54(4):356-60.

Risk factors for hypertension in obese women. The role of weight cycling.

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Clinica Medica, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Scienze dell'Invecchiamento, Chieti University, Chieti, Italy.



To study significant factors associated with the risk of hypertension among obese women, with and without a history of weight cycling (WC).


Case-control study.


Obesity Clinic of Chieti University, Italy.


A group of 258 obese women aged 25-64 y (103 cases with hypertension and 155 controls) were recruited. All obese subjects had the same clinical characteristics, were without a family history for hypertension, were non-smokers, had normal lipidemic profiles and normal glucose tolerance, were not taking any medication and were otherwise healthy.


In the weight cycling women, the history of WC was established on the basis of at least five weight losses in the previous 5 y due to dieting, with a weight loss of at least 4.5 kg per cycle. A logistic regression model adjusted for confounding variables such as waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and weight cycling history parameters was used and the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals was calculated.


The risk of hypertension increases in subjects with larger WHR (OR 7.8; 95% CI 3.4-17.9) and with a positive history for WC (OR 4.1; 95% CI 2.4-6.9). Further, in obese patients with WC, the weight cycling index and the sum of the weight regained are also important risk factors for hypertension.


These findings could support the hypothesis that it is the combined exposure of central-type obesity and WC that strongly raises the risk of hypertension.


This work has been financially supported by a grant of Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica.

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