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Obese Adults Undergo Less Medical Tests And More Vulnerable To Diseases

Dr. Truls Ostbye and his colleagues from the Duke University of Medical Center has found that fat people had less preventive health care. Obese people had lower rate of medical testing and flu vaccination.// The study was conducted in 10,000 people who received mammography tests, Pap smear tests and flu vaccination. The researchers found that the results correlated with whites and no evidence correlated with the results for black people.

The researchers based their findings on data from two studies that surveyed more than 10,600 U.S. adults between 1995 and 2000. In general, they found, rates of mammography screening for breast cancer, Pap tests for cervical cancer and flu vaccination declined as body mass index (BMI) increased.

Obese women have great chances of developing cancers, and due to obesity the chances of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes are very much increased, which may lead to flu complications in this people. The reasons for fat people not going for regular examination is that the examination procedure like pelvic examinations and mammograms are mostly painful to obese people compared to normal people. Moreover, obese adults mostly have a lower income and they have to pay more insurance money.

It's possible, he said, that "anti-fat bias" on the part of healthcare workers is playing some role, with negative attitudes toward obesity consciously or unconsciously affecting their responses to some patients. "We don't know that's the case, though," Taylor added.

SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health, September 2005.

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