A new report verifies the link between obesity and venous thromboembolismthat was established in 1927, adding that the risk is particularly strongamong obese people under age 40. Investigators from St. Joseph MercyHospital in Michigan reviewed data from the 1979-1999 National HospitalDischarge Survey that included more than 12 million obese people and 700million people who were not considered obese. They found that obese patientswere 2.5 times more likely to have deep venous thrombosis (DVT) than thosewho were not obese; the obese group was 2.21 times more likely to experiencea pulmonary embolism. The risk was greater for women than it was formen, and the poor effects of obesity were more likely to affect peopleunder age 40; they had 5 times the risk of DVT. Obesewomen under age 40 had 6 times the risk of DVT, comparedwith nonobese women. Investigators hopethese findings will raise awareness of pulmonaryembolism as a possible diagnosis.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.