New Study Clarifies 'Obesity Paradox' for Surgery Patients

Obese patients with high blood pressure and diabetes are at much higher risk for major complications following non-cardiac surgery than otherwise healthy obese patients, according to a release by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The new finding, published in the journal Anesthesiology, diverges from previous research associating obesity with a lower risk of death and complications after non-cardiac surgery. The new study helps clarify the "obesity paradox," that a high body mass index confers a protective effect in certain circumstances.

The new study compared obese people who were metabolically healthy with those who had diabetes and hypertension.

"I think the general population has the sense that individuals with obesity are all alike and struggle with the exact same health problems, but that is not the case," said Laurent G. Glance, MD, lead author and professor of Anesthesiology and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He said the "obesity paradox" may be explained in part by a large number of metabolically healthy but obese patients included in previous studies.

Read the University of Rochester Medical Center release on obesity.

Read more coverage of obesity:

- Obesity Surgery Could Improve Memory

- 10 Recent Anesthesia Findings and Breakthroughs

- AHA Guidelines Discuss Anesthesiologist Role in Congenital Heart Disease

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