Effect of behavioral weight-loss program on biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease risk: Heart Health Study randomized trial.



This study aimed to determine whether novel biomarkers of cardiometabolic health improve in response to a 12-month behavioral weight-loss intervention and to compare benefits of diet alone with diet plus physical activity for these biomarkers.


Participants (N = 374) were randomized to either diet alone (DIET), diet plus 150 min/wk of prescribed moderate-intensity physical activity (DIET + PA150), or diet plus 250 min/wk of prescribed moderate-intensity physical activity (DIET + PA250). Biomarker concentrations were determined using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Mixed models assessed for a time effect, group effect, or group by time interaction.


All groups significantly improved body weight (time: p < 0.0001), Lipoprotein Insulin Resistance Index score (time: p < 0.0001), Diabetes Risk Index score (time: p < 0.0001), branched-chain amino acid concentration (time: p < 0.0001), and GlycA concentration (time: p < 0.0001), with no group effect or group by time interactions.


All intervention groups prompted a notable beneficial change among biomarkers of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic health. However, the addition of at least moderate-intensity physical activity to a diet-only intervention did not provide any additional benefit. These findings highlight that an average weight loss of approximately 10% profoundly impacts biomarkers of insulin resistance and cardiometabolic disease in adults with overweight or obesity.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Collins, Katherine A, William E Kraus, Renee J Rogers, Elizabeth R Hauser, Wei Lang, Rong Jiang, Erik B Schelbert, Kim M Huffman, et al. (2023). Effect of behavioral weight-loss program on biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease risk: Heart Health Study randomized trial. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 31(2). pp. 338–349. 10.1002/oby.23618 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29674.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Katherine Collins

Medical Instructor in Population Health Sciences

Katherine A. Collins, PhD, NBC-HWC, is a Medical Instructor in the Department of Population Health Sciences and affiliated with the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute at Duke University School of Medicine, and is a board-certified health and wellness coach. She studies barriers and predictors of health-promoting behavior change. The ultimate goal of her translational research is to design trials to optimize health-promoting behaviors for those at risk for "relapse" or ceased behavioral modification, in order to improve long-term health and well-being.


William Erle Kraus

Richard and Pat Johnson University Distinguished Professor

My training, expertise and research interests range from human integrative physiology and genetics to animal exercise models to cell culture models of skeletal muscle adaptation to mechanical stretch. I am trained clinically as an internist and preventive cardiologist, with particular expertise in preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation.  My research training spans molecular biology and cell culture, molecular genetics, and integrative human exercise physiology and metabolism. I practice as a preventive cardiologist with a focus on cardiometabolic risk and exercise physiology for older athletes.  My research space has both a basic wet laboratory component and a human integrative physiology one.

One focus of our work is an integrative physiologic examination of exercise effects in human subjects in clinical studies of exercise training in normal individuals, in individuals at risk of disease (such as pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome; STRRIDE), and in individuals with disease (such as coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and cancer).

A second focus of my research group is exploration of genetic determinates of disease risk in human subjects.  We conduct studies of early onset cardiovascular disease (GENECARD; CATHGEN), congestive heart failure (HF-ACTION), peripheral arterial disease (AMNESTI), and metabolic syndrome.  We are exploring analytic models of predicting disease risk using established and innovative statistical methodology.

A third focus of my group’s work is to understand the cellular signaling mechanisms underlying the normal adaptive responses of skeletal muscle to physiologic stimuli, such as occur in exercise conditioning, and to understand the abnormal maladaptive responses that occur in response to pathophysiologic stimuli, such as occur in congestive heart failure, aging and prolonged exposure to microgravity.

Recently we have begun to investigate interactions of genes and lifestyle interventions on cardiometabolic outcomes.  We have experience with clinical lifestyle intervention studies, particularly the contributions of genetic variants to interventions responses.  We call this Lifestyle Medicopharmacogenetics.


exercise, skeletal muscle, energy metabolism, cell signaling, gene expression, cell stretch, heart failure, aging, spaceflight, human genetics, early onset cardiovascular disease, lifestyle medicine


Elizabeth Rebecca Hauser

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

The incorporation of personalized medicine to all areas of human health represents a turning point for human genetics studies, a point at which the discoveries made have real implications for clinical medicine.  It is important for students to gain experience in how human genetics studies are conducted and how results of those studies may be used.  As a statistical geneticist and biostatistician my research interests are focused on developing and applying statistical methods to search for genes causing common human diseases.  My research programs combine development and application of statistical methods for genetic studies, with a particular emphasis on understanding the joint effects of genes and environment. 

These studies I work on cover diverse areas in biomedicine but are always collaborative, with the goal of bringing robust data science and statistical methods to the project.  Collaborative studies include genetic and ‘omics studies of cardiovascular disease, health effects of air pollution, genetic analysis of adherence to an exercise program, genetic analysis in evaluating colon cancer risk, genetic analysis of suicide, and systems biology analysis of Gulf War Illness.

Keywords: human genetics, genetic association, gene mapping, genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics, biostatistics, cardiovascular disease, computational biology, diabetes, aging, colon cancer, colon polyps, kidney disease, Gulf War Illness, exercise behavior, suicide


Rong Jiang

Assistant Professor in Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Kim Marie Huffman

Associate Professor of Medicine

Determining the role of physical activity in modulating health outcomes (cardiovascular disease risk) in persons with rheumatologic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis)

Integrating clinical rheumatology, basic immunology, metabolism, and exercise science in order to reduce morbidity in individuals with arthritis

Evaluating relationships between circulating and intra-muscular metabolic intermediates and insulin resistance in sedentary as well as individuals engaging in regular exercise

Addressing the role of physical activity in modulating inflammation, metabolism, and functional health in aging populations

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.