World Bulletin / News Desk
Regardless of lifestyle and other health-related factors, heavier people were more likely than lean ones to be hospitalized for a variety of conditions, according to an Australian study.
What's more, this was the case not just for obese people but also for those who were merely overweight as well, the researchers wrote in the International Journal of Obesity.
Among middle-aged adults, researchers found that every extra body mass index (BMI) point - equal to about 2.7 to 3.2 kilograms (six or seven lbs) - was tied to a four percent higher chance of being admitted to the hospital over a two-year period.
"There is considerable evidence that severe obesity is bad for your health, resulting in higher rates of disease and consequently higher use of health services and higher death rates," said lead author Rosemary Korda, from the Australian National University in Canberra.
"What this study shows is that there is a gradual increase in risk of hospitalization as BMI increases, starting with people in the overweight range. In other words, even being overweight (but not obese) increases your risk."
Korda and her colleagues recruited close to 250,000 people aged 45 and above from New South Wales. After surveying them about their height, weight and other health and lifestyle issues, the researchers tracked participants through hospital data.
Over the next two years, they had more than 61,000 total hospitalizations lasting at least one night.
Korda's team found that among people considered in the normal range for BMI, there were 120 hospitalizations for every 1,000 men and 102 per 1,000 women each year. For those considered severely obese, on the other hand, there were 203 hospitalizations for every 1,000 men and 183 per 1,000 women, on average.
Overweight and moderately obese people had hospitalization rates somewhere in between.
A BMI of 25 to 30 is classified as overweight, while obese is from 30 on up.
That pattern held up even after taking into account whether participants smoked, how physically active they were and their general health at the start of the study.
Extra weight seemed especially to play a role in people's chances of being hospitalized for diabetes, heart disease, chest pain, arthritis and asthma, the researchers reported.
"Extending the research to overweight individuals... is a unique contribution," said Robert Klesges, a preventive medicine researcher from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
"Basically it tells tens of millions of Americans that, 'you are now at risk'," added Klesges, who wasn't involved in the study.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 36 percent of American adults are obese. Another 33 percent are overweight.
"While increasing weight leads to increasing risk, this also means that a gradual decrease in weight is likely to gradually decrease your risk - ie, if you are overweight or obese, even small decreases in weight may make a positive difference to your health," said Korda.
WHO said that on many levels, the world is better prepared now than ever before for aflu pandemic
Myanmar health officals say an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Mandalay
Tokyo Electric said it has been aware since last spring that radiation levels in water running in one of the plant gutters rise when it rains
Safe drinking water is available at about one-third of the level it was before the conflict erupted nearly five years ago, and supplies are cut-off to punish civilians at times
Elephants in Angola, which suffered decades of civil war, have been observed avoiding heavily-mined areas, suggesting their trunks were warning them to stay away.
Favipiravir halved death rate among some to 15 pct, but WHO says more research required on drug
The first medicine containing stem cells to treat a rare condition caused by burns to the eye has approved.
940 parasite samplescollected at 55 malaria treatment centres across Myanmar and its border regions. They found that almost 40 percent of the samples had mutations in their so-called kelch gene, K13 -- a known genetic signal of artemisinin drug resistance.
Yaws is known to be prevalent in 12 countries in areas where people have little access to healthcare, mainly in West and Central Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
In the past few years, Nepal has seen the numbers of endangered species, such as the Royal Bengal tiger or the one-horned rhino, rise.
The investment would represent as little as 0.1 percent of current national health spending of the low and middle-income countries affected by NTD.
Nearly 1,000 abandoned California sea lions have washed ashore this year in what rehabilitation centers say is a growing crisis for the animals.
West Africa cases of Ebola show the first decrease in three weeks.
"Marijuana fools the brain's feeding system."scientist Tamas Horvath said.
The Department of Health (DOH) announced that a Filipina nurse who recently arrived in the country tested positive for the MERS Coronavirus.
North Korea, the world's most isolated country, is thousands of miles from the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and has reported no cases of the virus, which has killed more than 9,000 people.