24 April 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
The latest findings suggest that extreme obesity may be even more dangerous for men than it is for women
Singapore: According to a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, extreme obesity increases the mortality of an individual. The study aggregated the results of about 20 long term studies on obesity conducted in the USA, Sweden and Australia. This is said to be the largest study of the health consequences of severe obesity.
The study said those with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 are deprived of at least 6.5 years, on average, of expected life span and it increases with the degree of obesity, as much as 14 years for those with a BMI above 55. It also highlighted that the extremely obese are more likely to succumb early to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Also, the premature deaths attributable to all causes, from injury to chronic lower respiratory infections, were consistently higher in those with severe obesity.
The latest findings suggest that extreme obesity may be even more dangerous for men than it is for women and for younger adults compared with older ones. They come as evidence mounts that weight-loss medications, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling, work only moderately in helping the obese lose weight and keep it off.
As the extremely obese age and their ranks continue to grow, the authors of the current study said, that their medical problems may reverse progress made in driving down cardiovascular disease. Breast, colon, pancreas, ovaries, kidney, esophagus, thyroid and gall bladder cancers are more prevalent among the obese. "If current global trends in obesity continue, we must expect to see substantially increased rates of mortality due to these major causes of death, as well as increasing healthcare costs," the authors concluded.