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Obesity Significantly Increases Risk of Serious Disease and Early Death, Warn Researchers.

Being obese is linked to a significantly higher chance of serious disease and early death than being a healthy weight, research on more than 2.8 million adults suggests.

The chance of suffering serious illness goes up with increasing weight gain, experts analysing health, death and sickness data from UK adults found.

How much does the risk increase as your BMI rises?

Presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, the study found that people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 to 35 were at 70% higher risk of developing heart failure than their healthy weight peers.

Even a BMI of 25 to 30 increased the risk by 20%, while a BMI of 35 to 40 more than doubled the risk and a BMI of 40 to 45 almost quadrupled the risk compared to people of a normal weight.

The study also found that compared with normal weight individuals, a BMI of 25 to 30 increased the risk of Type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea by more than double, while a person with a BMI of 30 to 35 was more than five times as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and almost six times as likely to develop sleep apnoea.

For those with a BMI of 35 to 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 to 45) were 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and had a risk of sleep apnoea that was 22 times greater.

The results also showed that increasing weight was linked to higher risk of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood).

To what degree?

People with a BMI of 40 to 45 had triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidaemia.

This BMI was also linked to a 50% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause compared to people of a normal weight.

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 dyslipidaemia, chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.

How extensive was the research?

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.

What do the report authors highlight from their work?

For those with a BMI of 35 to 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 to 45) were 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and had a risk of sleep apnoea that was 22 times greater.

The results also showed that increasing weight was linked to higher risk of high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood).

To what degree?

People with a BMI of 40 to 45 had triple the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and dyslipidaemia.

This BMI was also linked to a 50% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause compared to people of a normal weight.

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 dyslipidaemia, chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.

How extensive was the research?

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.

What do the report authors highlight from their work?

Story cited here.

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