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Weight Loss Advice: Obese, Overweight Patients 'Less Likely To Die' After Heart Surgery

By Christie Abagon , Jan 20, 2017 09:06 PM EST
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Overweight and obesity are linked to a lot of health risks, like stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. However, a recent study shows being overweight or obese may have some health benefits, too.

Overweight refers to excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat, and water, while obesity refers to an excess amount of body fat. Researchers at the Leicester University conducted a study which was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF). According to Daily Mail, they analyzed records from 401,000 people in the UK and Ireland who underwent heart surgery between 2002 and 2013.

It Is Wrong To Deny People Surgery Because They Are Overweight, Study Claims

They found out that of those included, 11,511 patients died in hospital, with 4.4 percent of patients who were of healthy weight, while only 2.8 percent of those who were overweight and 2.7 percent in obese class I (with a BMI of 30 to 35), The Guardian reported. They also found that that 8.5 percent of patients who were underweight died in hospital. The researchers also reviewed data from 557,720 patients in studies across Europe, the United States and Asia, and found similar results.

The study suggests that it is wrong to deny people surgery because they are overweight and that underweight patients could benefit from gaining weight prior to a heart operation. Professor Gavin Murphy at the University of Leicester said that obesity is often the reason given for not offering patients surgery. However, this study shows that " for cardiac patients at least, being obese should not be a reason to turn patients away from surgery."

'Being Overweight Can Give Patients Added Protection' During Major Heart Surgery

Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the BHF said that they always recommend a "healthy waistline" because it reduces lifetime risk of heart disease and therefore a person's risk of needing cardiac surgery. However this new study "strongly suggests that being overweight can give patients added protection when facing major heart surgery, reducing their chance of complications or death before leaving hospital."

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