- Researchers say middle-aged obese people face more serious health effects and higher medical costs when they are older.
- They add that people who are overweight but not obese in middle age live about as long as people of moderate weight, but they tend to have more lifestyle limitations.
- Experts say it’s never too late to start managing your weight.
People who are obese in midlife have higher healthcare costs and die younger than people who have a “normal” body mass index (BMI), a new
The researchers reported that people who are overweight have higher health and economic costs later in life – what they called the “cumulative burden of disease”.
They added that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to need treatment for coronary heart disease, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease (stroke) and heart failure than people with a normal BMI in middle age.
Median cumulative healthcare costs among overweight participants were $12,390 more than those with a normal BMI. The researchers also estimated that the costs were $23,396 higher in obese people.
The average age of death for obese people was 80, compared to 82 for those with a normal midlife BMI.
However, the death rate was not significantly different for people considered overweight but not obese. Their longevity was about the same as that of people with a normal BMI.
The study focused on the burden of disease, longevity and healthcare costs among adults aged 65 and over who were overweight and obese around the age of 40.
The study was based on an analysis of participants in the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry.
Participants were first screened between November 1967 and January 1973 and then underwent follow-up examinations between January 1985 and December 2015.
Only participants aged 65 or older at follow-up and enrolled in Medicare were included in the study.
BMIs between 18 and 25 were classified as “normal”. BMIs of 25 to 30 were classified as overweight, and BMIs of 30 or more were classified as obese.
On the surface, the discoveries are not new.
Many other studies have
However, Dr. Sadiya S. KhanStudy author and assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Illinois, told Healthline that the new research “goes beyond mortality or death and adds evidence regarding morbidity and the burden of disease in the elderly”.
“It really speaks to quality of life, which we describe as ‘extent of health,'” she noted.
Khan pointed out that while overweight people did not appear to lose years of life compared to moderately-weight people, the study nevertheless found that they had significant health problems.
“With optimal treatment, it is possible that people [who are] overweight lives longer with the disease and this weight affects the lifespan without lifespan,” she said. “Changes in diet and exercise are important beyond weight and can improve healthy years of life. It’s not just about dying young, it’s about enjoying life as you age.
Dr Mir AliBariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in California, agrees with Khan’s assessment.
“The sooner a person corrects poor eating and lifestyle habits, the more likely they are to correct the negative effects of obesity. Once organ damage begins to occur due to obesity, the effects are harder to reverse,” Ali told Healthline.
Dana Ellis HunnesPhD, senior dietitian at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, said people who are overweight or obese should act as soon as possible.
“It’s never too late to build healthier eating habits, like a more plant-based or plant-based diet that puts whole foods, as nature grew them, in your body before processed foods and animal origin less healthy,” Hunnes said. Health line.
“It’s also never too late to start an exercise/fitness program that would improve cardiovascular health with your doctor’s approval,” added Hunnes, who is also the author of the new book “Recipe for Survival “.