Entries in health risks (2)


Study: Many Obese Patients Unconvinced Weight Poses Health Risks

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- A majority of overweight and obese patients seen in hospital emergency departments do not consider their weight to be a threat to their health, and say that doctors have never informed them of the risks of excessive weight gain, a new study finds.

HealthDay reports that researchers surveyed 450 randomly selected patients seen in the emergency department at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., and asked them to respond to two questions. The first question that was asked was, “Do you believe your present weight is damaging to your health?” followed by, “Have other health professionals ever told you that you are overweight?”

The study found that only 19 percent of respondents who reported that their weight was unhealthy said they'd ever discussed it with a health care professional. Thirty percent of respondents who were told that their weight was unhealthy by their health care provider agreed with that opinion.

The study also found that 47 percent of obese and overweight men believed their weight was a problem, while the majority—53 percent—felt it wasn’t an issue.

Study author Dr. Matthew Ryan, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at University of Florida, found that women were more aware of the health issues surrounding obesity, as 62 percent reported that their weight was negatively affecting their health.

"We see the manifestations of obesity in the emergency department. Obesity is directly linked to other diseases—hypertension, diabetes, cancers, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, heart disease, strokes, and metabolic syndrome," Ryan said. "We see the acute exacerbations of chronic diseases."

Even amid all the health problems surrounded by excessive weight, only 36 percent of overweight or obese men and 50 percent of overweight/obese women reported discussing the issue with their doctors.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Study: Stopping Estrogen Associated with Health Risks, Benefits

Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- In 2004, the Women's Health Initiative Estrogen-Only Trial was stopped one year early because of an increased risk of stroke and no overall health benefit for the postmenopausal women who had hysterectomies taking the medication. A new long-term study continued following many of the women after they stopped the estrogen and finds that their age was associated with certain ongoing health risks and benefits long after taking the last pill.   

Dr. Andrea La Croix, from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and co-authors compared the on-going health risks and benefits in women who took the estrogen for an average of six years then stopping and those who did not. Follow up for most of the women lasted almost 11 years. "For heart disease overall we found no difference either during the intervention at the end of the intervention or at the end of this longer- term follow up period no difference between the estrogen group and the group  of women who took a placebo pill," explained La Croix.

The study appears in this week's JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association and researchers say those results differ by age group. According to La Croix, "women in their 50s taking estrogen had 12 fewer heart attacks per 10 thousand women over a year's time and the women in their 70s had 16 extra heart attacks, so the effect of estrogen on heart disease differed significantly by age."

"For breast cancer a woman's age had no effect on their risk, the risk of breast cancer was reduced regardless of age. Hip fracture rates also reduced while on the medication but that changed after women stopped," according to La Croix.  Rates of hip fracture in the treated group started to rise and move toward the rate in the placebo group so that by the end of the 10.7 years of follow up the rates were about equivalent.

Researchers say this new information can now be used by women to help them and their physicians make better informed decisions on whether to  start this medication and just how long they should take it. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio