Healthday (8/9/10, Reinberg) reported that people who put on a little weight might hinder the
function of cells that line their blood vessels increasing the risk for both high blood pressure
and possibly cardiovascular disease. The researchers performed a controlled study in young
adult healthy volunteers with one group having moderate weight gain of approximately eight
pounds and the other group maintaining their weight and then measuring endothelial function
which directs the ability of blood vessels to contract and dilate which controls blood flow. They
measured endothelial function by measuring function of the brachial artery which is located in
the arm.

The researchers measured the function of the artery before eight weeks of weight gain and again
after sixteen weeks of weight loss. In particular, they measured the fat deposited in the area
of the belly in both groups. They found that people who gained weight in this area showed a
decreasing ability of the brachial artery to dilate and when they lost that weight the ability of the
artery to dilate returned.

Dr. Steven Reisman, a Manhattan Cardiologist and Director of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic
Center, advises that endothelial dysfunction may be an early marker of coronary artery
disease and this study may strengthen the case for weight control as a means of diminishing
cardiovascular risk. These findings suggest that endothelial dysfunction may be caused by
moderate weight gain in the abdominal area and can be reversed through diet and a decrease in
weight. This study is also consistent with previous studies linking cardiovascular risk to certain
measures of obesity.