Cardiometabolic risk reduction in an intensive cardiovascular health program

L. M. Voeghtly, D. M. Neatrour, D. J. Decewicz, A. Burke, M. J. Haberkorn, F. Lechak, H. L. Patney, M. N. Vernalis, D. L. Ellsworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Insulin and leptin are important markers of insulin resistance and vascular inflammation in metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. This study evaluated changes in circulating levels of insulin and leptin during a cardiovascular health program to improve our understanding of cardiometabolic risk reduction. Methods and results: Participants (n=76) completed a prospective, nonrandomized program designed to stabilize or reverse progression of coronary artery disease through dietary changes, exercise, stress management, and group support. Controls (n=76) were matched to participants based on age, gender, and disease status. Traditional cardiovascular risk factors were assessed at baseline, 12 weeks, and 52 weeks by standard methods. Dietary data were collected by 72-h recall and evaluated by Food Processor® v8.4.0. Ultrasensitive insulin and leptin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. Participants successfully reduced their total caloric intake from >2000 calories per day to ~1700 calories per day (p<0.05 compared to controls), lowered daily fat intake by >60% (p<0.001 compared to controls), and increased carbohydrate intake by >30% (p<0.001). Repeated-measures ANOVA indicated significant beneficial changes (p<0.001 compared to controls) in plasma insulin (-19%) and leptin (-33%) during the lifestyle program, as well as improvement in traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Response was similar between men and women for most risk factors and was not markedly influenced by medication use. Conclusion: Lifestyle changes focusing on diet, physical activity, and stress reduction can successfully modify both cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, with the potential to mediate cardiometabolic risk through beneficial anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects on the vasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-669
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Cardiometabolic risk
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Exercise
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Low-fat diet
  • Risk reduction


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