Higher Obesity Equals Higher Mortality
A recent study from the University ofPittsburgh concluded that the healthrisks for women as a result of obesityhave been underestimated. The largescalestudy followed 90,000 ethnicallydiverse American women for an averageof 7 years. Weight, cardiovasculardisease, and mortality rates were allanalyzed. Researchers divided obesitylevels into 3 categories: obesity 1 (bodymass index [BMI] of 30 to 34.9), obesity2 (BMI of 35 to 39.9), and obesity 3 (BMIof 40 or higher). Obesity 2 and 3, alsoknown as severe obesity, are on therise in the United States. Severe obesityquadrupled from 1986 to 2000,when 2% of all American women wereseverely obese. Researchers determinedthat as the level of a woman'sobesity increases, so does the severityof her health risks. The study, whichappeared in the July 5, 2006 issue ofthe Journal of the American Heart Association,concludes that "extremelyobese women were more likely to dieover the average 7 years of follow-upthan were women in other examinedweight categories."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.