Heart Health

KicStart™ and Heart Health

Cardiovascular (heart) disease remains one of the leading causes of death. Obesity, especially where fat is carried around the abdomen, is a major risk for heart disease. Traditionally the two have been thought to be linked through the effects of excess weight on increasing blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and clotting. More recently obesity has also been independently associated with heart disease via the direct effects of excess fat surrounding the heart and impinging on the efficiency of the heart itself.

Even a small amount of weight loss can help the heart work more efficiently as well as reducing some of the other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure. Even losing just a few kg of fat  has been shown to reduce blood pressure significantly.

Royal Adelaide Hospital KicStart™ Study - Cardiovascular risk factors, vascular and ventricular structure and function in obese men.

A study, using KicStart, at the Royal Adelaide Hospital of more than 80 obese men with no previous history of cardiovascular disease showed, using MRI - which creates internal images of the body by measuring magnetic energy - that weight loss (using KicStart™) was able to reverse heart abnormalities and return the heart to normal function. 

The table below summarises some of the important clinical and scientific results for this study that were achieved in the first 48 men, as presented to the American College of Cardiology and the European Society of Cardiology: 

Variable Starting (average) After 8 weeks (average)
Weight n/a 12.6 kg av. weight loss
Ejection Fraction* 51% 58%
Endothelial Function
(measured using Flow Mediated Dilatation - FMD**)
4.8% 9.4%

* Ejection Fraction is the fraction (%) of blood pumped out of a ventricle with each heart beat.

** Endothelial Function is a measure of the health of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction can result from disease processes, as occurs in hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol), diabetes as well as from environmental factors, such as from smoking tobacco products.

Endothelial dysfunction is thought to be a key event in the development of atherosclerosis and pre-dates clinically obvious vascular problems by many years. Endothelial dysfunction has also been shown to be of prognostic significance in predicting vascular events including stroke and heart attacks.