Sunday December 15, 2019

Obesity Alone Does not Increase Death Risk: Study

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease

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Soon treatment for obesity, fatty liver disease . Pixabay

Patients who have metabolically healthy obesity but are free from other metabolic risk factors do not have an increased rate of mortality, a new study has found.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Obesity, showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes — each one of which is related to high mortality risk — obesity alone does not pose any threat to life.

“We are showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate,” said lead author Jennifer Kuk, Associate Professor at the York University in Canada.

“We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors,” Kuk added.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.
Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications. Pixabay

For the study, the research team followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor.

The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.

They found that one out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.

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“This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” said Kuk.

“This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk,” Kuk noted.

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease. (IANS)

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Obesity Can Lead to Brain Damage: Study

According to researchers, this pattern of damage correlated with some inflammatory markers, like leptin, a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate energy and fat stores

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Brain
"Brain changes were found in obese adolescents related to regions responsible for control of appetite, emotions and cognitive functions," said study co-author Pamela Bertolazzi from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Pixabay

While obesity is primarily associated with weight gain, a new study suggests it triggers inflammation in the nervous system that could damage important regions of the brain.

Developments in MRI, like diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a technique that tracks the diffusion of water along the brain’s signal-carrying white matter tracts, have enabled researchers to study this damage directly.

“Brain changes were found in obese adolescents related to regions responsible for control of appetite, emotions and cognitive functions,” said study co-author Pamela Bertolazzi from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) data indicates the number of overweight or obese infants and young children increased from 32 million in 1990 to 41 million in 2016 globally.

For the study, researchers compared DTI results in 59 obese and 61 healthy adolescents, aged 12-16 years.

From DTI, the researchers derived a measure called fractional anisotropy (FA), which correlates with the condition of the brain’s white matter. A reduction in fractional anisotropy is indicative of increasing damage in the white matter.

Brain
While obesity is primarily associated with weight gain, a new study suggests it triggers inflammation in the nervous system that could damage important regions of the brain. Pixabay

The results showed reduction of FA values in the obese adolescents in regions located in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibre that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Decrease of fractional anisotropy was also found in the middle orbitofrontal gyrus, a brain region related to emotional control and the reward circuit. None of the brain regions in obese patients had increased fractional anisotropy.

According to researchers, this pattern of damage correlated with some inflammatory markers, like leptin, a hormone made by fat cells that helps regulate energy and fat stores.

In some obese people, the brain doesn’t respond to leptin, causing them to keep eating despite adequate or excessive fat stores. This condition, known as leptin resistance, makes the fat cells produce even more leptin.

Brain
The World Health Organisation (WHO) data indicates the number of overweight or obese infants and young children increased from 32 million in 1990 to 41 million in 2016 globally, having effect on Brain Health. Wikimedia Commons

Worsening condition of the white matter was also associated with levels of insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Obese people often suffer from insulin resistance.

“Our maps showed a positive correlation between brain changes and hormones, such as leptin and insulin,” Bertolazzi said.

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“In the future, we would like to repeat brain MRI in these adolescents after multi-professional treatment for weight loss to assess if the brain changes are reversible,” she said. (IANS)