Associated Conditions of Overweight
|About associated conditions: Associated conditions are those which appear statistically related, but do not have a clear cause or effect relationship. Whereas the complications are caused by Overweight, and underlying causes may be causes of Overweight, the following list shows associated conditions that simply appear with higher frequency in people who have Overweight. In some cases, there may be overlap between this list and risk factors for Overweight. People with Overweight may be more likely to get a condition on the list of associated conditions, or the reverse may be true, or both. Whether they are causes of, caused by, or simply coincidentally related to Overweight is not always clear. For general information, see Associated Condition Misdiagnosis.|
Associated conditions list: The list of conditions mentioned by various sources as associated with Overweight includes:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Hypertension - 23.9% of overweight men and 23.0% of overweight women have hypertension
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Breathing difficulties
- Uterine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
Overweight as a risk factor: Another type of associated condition is one for which Overweight is itself a risk factor. The conditions for which Overweight is listed as a risk factor includes:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Colorectal cancer
- Coronary heart disease
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- High Cholesterol
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Pulmonary embolism
- Sleep apnea
- Slipped epiphysis
- Superficial thrombophlebitis
- Uterine Cancer
Associated conditions: Overweight and obesity are linked to:
Heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Heart disease includes heart attack, heart failure, and angina (chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart).
Stroke. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack." Most strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking an artery that takes blood to the brain.
Diabetes. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as people who are not overweight. Type 2 diabetes reduces your body's ability to control your blood sugar. It is a major cause of early death, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and blindness. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight and being more physically active can help control your blood sugar levels. You may also be able to reduce the amount of medicine that you need.
Cancer of the gallbladder, breast, uterus, cervix, and ovaries (for women). Overweight men are at greater risk for developing cancer of the colon, rectum, and prostate.
Gallstones or gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease and gallstones are more common if you are overweight. Your risk of disease increases as your weight increases. But weight loss itself, particularly rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight, can actually increase your chances of getting gallstones. Modest, slow weight loss of about 1 pound a week is less likely to cause gallstones.
Osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints). Osteoarthritis is a common joint disorder that most often affects the joints in your knees, hips, and lower back. Extra weight puts extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints) that normally protects them. Weight loss may improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid). Gout is a joint disease caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid sometimes forms crystals that are deposited in the joints. Gout is more common in overweight people. If you have a history of gout, check with your doctor before trying to lose weight. Some diets may lead to an attack of gout in people who have high levels of uric acid or who have had gout before.
Breathing problems, including sleep apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep). Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can cause a person to stop breathing for short periods during sleep and to snore heavily. Sleep apnea may cause daytime sleepiness and even heart failure. The risk for sleep apnea increases with higher body weights. Weight loss usually improves sleep apnea.
High blood cholesterol. High levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood) can lead to heart disease. Obesity is also linked to low levels of HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"). Weight loss can improve your cholesterol levels.
High blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Obese adults are twice as likely to have high blood pressure as those who are at a healthy weight. Weight loss can lower your blood pressure.
Complications of pregnancy. Obesity increases the risks of high blood pressure and a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Obese women are more likely to have problems with labor and delivery.
Irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. Abdominal obesity is linked to polycystic ovary syndrome, a cause of infertility in women.
Psychological and social effects, such as depression and discrimination. One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. American society places great emphasis on physical appearance, often equating attractiveness with slimness, especially in women. The messages, intended or not, make overweight people feel unattractive. Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at work, at school, while looking for a job, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are common.
Obesity may increase the risk of
developing kidney cancer. In several studies, obesity has
been associated with increased risk in women. One report
suggests that being overweight may be a risk factor for men,
too. The reasons for this possible link are not clear.2
1. excerpt from Obesity: NWHIC
2. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Kidney Cancer: NCI
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