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Higher levels of obesity associated with greater health risks

ce differed with race/ethnicity, from 1 percent among Asian and Pacific Islanders to 10 percent among black women. "In this diverse population-based sample of older women, we found that obesity was linked with considerable health risk and that accounting for degree of excess weight is important in understanding weight-related health risk. Overall, extremely obese women were more likely to die over the average 7.0 years of follow-up than were women in other examined weight categories. Modeling analyses adjusted for age, smoking status, educational achievement, U.S. region, and physical activity level showed that weight-related risk for all-cause mortality, CHD mortality, and CHD incidence did not differ by race/ethnicity."

"There was a positive trend in all-cause mortality risk and CHD incidence with increasing weight category. This trend had borderline significance for CHD mortality among black women, likely reflecting sample size limitations. Much of the obesity-related mortality and CHD risk was mediated by diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia [high cholesterol levels]. In white women, as other studies have found, weight-related all-cause mortality risk was modified by age, with obesity conferring less risk among older women. Smoking may modify weight-related risk in black women, but further study is needed to understand the nature of this relationship," the authors write.

"Our findings have important clinical and policy implications. The escalating prevalence of extreme obesity may exacerbate the health effects and health-related expenditures resulting from the U.S. obesity epidemic. Calculating the weight-related risks of morbidity and mortality based on findings in earlier population samples, which tended to reflect lower degrees of obesity, may underestimate the risks for extremely obese individuals and overestimate the risks for mildly obese individuals in diverse groups," the researchers write. "More accurately assessing weight-related
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Source:JAMA and Archives Journals


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