The health effects of obesity differ between men and women

R. Ibarra

Madrid

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People with ‘weight problems’ not only have to worry about diseases associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, but as indicated by research published in «PLOS Genetics» excess weight is involved in two thirds of the main causes of death from noncommunicable diseases all over the world. But, in addition, this risk, especially in certain diseases, differs for men and women, says Cecilia Lindgren of the University of Oxford (United Kingdom).

As obesity rates continue to grow worldwide, scientists have begun to suspect that excess weight may cause or exacerbate other causes of death, in addition to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

To identify these new causes of death in which obesity is involved, the researchers conducted an analysis that explores the cause and effect relationships using genetic data and three measures of obesity in 228,466 women Y 195,041 men who were part of the Biobank of the United Kingdom.

The findings have potential implications for the design of public health strategies and suggest that different preventive measures aimed at men and women can be justified.

The analysis showed that obesity contributes to a long list of health problems which include coronary artery disease, type 1 and 2 diabetes, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic liver disease and kidney failure. And although obesity is a direct cause of type 2 diabetes, both in women and men, women experienced an increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to men. «This study shows how harmful it can be for human health to carry excess weight, and that women and men can experience different diseases as a result, ”says first author Jenny Censin.

195,041 males who were part of the UK Biobank were analyzed
195,041 men who were part of the UK Biobank were analyzed – Archive

For Michael Holmes, who supervised the work together with Cecilia Lindgren, "due to consistent evidence of the damage that arises as a result of obesity in broad range of diseases that cause death, our findings highlight the critical need of public health measures to stop the tide of obesity».

This study shows how harmful it can be for human health to carry excess weight, and that women and men may experience different diseases as a result.

In general, the study finds that Obesity causes or contributes to the majority of the leading causes of death worldwide that are not related to infectious diseases. However, the impacts of obesity manifest themselves differently in men and women.

The findings, they conclude, have potential implications for the design of public health strategies and suggest that different preventive measures aimed at men and women can be justified.

(tagsToTranslate) obesity (t) differences (t) man (t) woman

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