Obesity causes ‘significant’ risk of death and disease, study claims

29/04/2019 - 10:13
There is a significant risk of death and disease attached to obesity and weight gain, a study has revealed.

People with a body mass index (BMI) of 30-35 were at 70% higher risk of developing heart failure than their healthy weight peers (18.25-25 BMI).

The study of 2.8 million adults showed even slightly overweight people were twice as likely to get Type 2 diabetes.

Public Health England said ‘sustained action’ was needed to tackle obesity.

The study, to be presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, also showed:

  • For those with a BMI of 35-40, the risk of Type 2 diabetes was almost nine times higher, and 12 times higher for sleep apnoea
  • People with severe obesity (BMI of 40-45) were 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and had a risk of sleep apnoea that was 22 times greater
  • People with a BMI of 40-45 had triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood)
  • BMI of 40-45 was also linked to a 50% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause

The research found that the risk of developing serious health problems was ‘highly dependent’ on whether or not people already had issues at the start of the study.

For example, having high blood pressure at the start of the study was strongly associated with developing chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers looked at health, death and BMI data from more than 2.8 million adults between January 2000 and July 2018 from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

This was linked with hospital data to estimate the risk for serious health problems.

But the authors stress that their findings show observational differences, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.

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