Actor Idris Elba’s portrayal of a soldier slowly unraveling in the 2010 movie “Legacy” was enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat.
Now the LEGACY Study from Australia reveals that if you have atrial fibrillation (or a-fib, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke and is getting more common in people over age 65), a great way to help stop the heart from stuttering is to lose weight and keep it off. Researchers followed 355 obese people with a-fib for four years: 45 percent of participants who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight had NO SYMPTOMS of a-fib, without taking any medication.
About 5.2 million people in North America have a-fib. That number is expected to more than double, to around 12.1 million, by 2030, fueled by the fact that 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese. Most of you with a-fib will benefit enormously from shedding 10 percent of your weight — and not regaining it. And for the rest of you at risk of developing a-fib, wouldn’t it be smart to redo your lifestyle by increasing physical activity and upgrading your nutrition?
It takes work to reduce your weight. For the most effective ways to lose weight and protect your heart, check out the tips at sharecare.com and doctoroz.com.
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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.