11 June 2015
Researchers at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry have highlighted the widespread problems of being obese, including undergoing surgery.
Published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery, their study looked at the results of severely obese patients in need of emergency surgery. They found that nearly half (40 per cent) had to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and just under a fifth (17 per cent) did not survive.
The team looked at 111 patients who were all treated at the University of Alberta hospital between 2009 and 2011. All had a body mass index of 35 or higher, and the study found that a third of patients needed more than one surgical procedure. However, the heaviest patients were found to have the highest complication rates.
"This is one of the first studies to show in an emergency surgical population that the severely obese patients have such risk for major complications and death," says Rachel Khadaroo, an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Alberta, and co-author of the study.
According to the team, a number of factors can play a role in these findings, including the fact that those who are severely obese often have underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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