Health Problems Associated With Adult Obesity
Adults with Reference obesity Opens New Window are more likely to have certain health problems than adults who are not obese. These problems include the following.
Heart disease and cardiovascular problems
People who are obese have an increased risk of:
- Heart disease, including Reference coronary artery disease Opens New Window, Reference heart attack Opens New Window, Reference heart failure Opens New Window, Reference angina Opens New Window, and an Reference abnormal heartbeat Opens New Window.
- Reference High blood pressure Opens New Window. High blood pressure in obese men may in turn increase the risk of kidney cancer.
- Reference High levels of cholesterol Opens New Window and Reference triglycerides Opens New Window in the blood, as well as lower levels of "good" Reference HDL cholesterol Opens New Window.
- Reference Stroke Opens New Window.
The risk of type 2 diabetes increases as BMI increases. People who have a large percentage of body fat in the abdominal area—greater than 40 in. (102 cm) in men and greater than 35 in. (89 cm) in women—are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, even if their BMIs are within the normal range.
People who are obese are at greater risk for different types of cancer, including:Reference 1
- Reference Endometrial cancer Opens New Window.
- Reference Breast cancer Opens New Window after menopause.
- Reference Colorectal cancer Opens New Window.
- Reference Esophageal cancer Opens New Window.
- Kidney cancer.
People who are obese may have more digestive problems.Reference 2
- Obesity increases the chance of having Reference gallstones Opens New Window.
- Obesity is linked with liver problems such as an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly), a fatty liver (steatosis), or Reference cirrhosis Opens New Window.
- Symptoms of Reference gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Opens New Window are more common in people who are obese than in people of normal weight.
People who are obese may have difficulty breathing.
- They are more likely to have Reference sleep apnea Opens New Window.
- Obesity is linked with a higher prevalence of Reference asthma Opens New Window.
- People who are obese tend to take smaller or shallower breaths (pickwickian syndrome). These small, gasping breaths may not get as much oxygen into the blood as needed, leaving them always tired. Pickwickian syndrome can eventually lead to heart problems.
People who are obese have a greater risk of developing Reference arthritis Opens New Window. Extra weight puts more stress on the joints than normal, especially in the legs and lower back.
Sex hormone problems
Obesity is linked with:
- Problems with becoming pregnant (Reference infertility Opens New Window).
- Reference Irregular menstrual periods Opens New Window.
- Increased risk of birth defects, especially Reference neural tube defects Opens New Window.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 13, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator