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New Study Shows Morbidly Obese Workforce Has Higher Prevalence of 100+ Diseases and Conditions
Date:4/29/2009

Prevalence Decreased in One-Fourth of all Measured Conditions after Bariatric Surgery

CHEYENNE, Wyo., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers with morbid obesity have a significantly higher prevalence of more than 100 diseases and conditions than other employees, and those that had bariatric surgery reduced the prevalence of one-quarter of the diseases studied, according to a study of large employers in the February edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal on employee health issues.

The study found that employees with morbid obesity had about five times the rate of osteoarthritis and esophageal disorders, four times the rate of Type 2 diabetes, anemia and hypertension and three times the rate of high cholesterol and asthma, compared to employees who did not have morbid obesity. Researchers analyzed the Human Capital Management Services Research Reference Database, a database of more than 700,000 employees from large employers throughout the U.S.

"The impact of morbid obesity in the workplace is significant and perhaps connected to more concurrent health conditions than anyone thought," said study lead author, Nathan L. Kleinman, PhD, Director of Research Services, Human Capital Management Services, Inc. "Morbid obesity appears to be a common link between a wide variety of conditions. This study suggests employers who implement effective prevention and treatment strategies for morbid obesity itself could have a major impact on the overall health of their employees."

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), obesity or being overweight in America costs the health care system an estimated $117 billion and results in about $3.9 billion in lost productivity each year.(1)

Researchers believe this is the first study to evaluate obesity's association with all diseases and conditions as defined by the Agency for
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SOURCE Human Capital Management Services Group
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