Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Malignant obesity

In the era of preventive medicine, obesity features prominently in our effort to prevent coronary artery disease, diabetes and hypertension. It is very well known, and often featured in the lay-press that the incidence of obesity, especially in the young and adolescent, is increasing at an alarming rate. A big thank you should go out to fast foods like McDonalds, CocaCola and KFC.

We are all very concerned (rightly so) that this increase in obesity, in the present younger generation is causing a plateauing in the improvement in CVS mortality, over the recent years. What is worse is that the next few years we may see an increase in CVS mortality to the levels of the 1960s and 1970s. In fact, not only do we see a rise in obesity (BMI>25) we also see a rise in malignant obesity (BMI>40).

Although the relationship between obesity, hypertension and diabetes is very well worked out and understood, what is not so well understood is the co-relation between obesity and malignancies, especially breast and uterine malignancies. This was highlighted in the BBC news, health section recently. We think that obesity, in the females, causes hormonal imbalance thereby causing some of the increase incidence of female cancers. I must confess that the causal relationship is not as well worked out as hypertension and diabetes, however, epidermiologist say that the relationship is definitely there. Obese individuals be careful, if hypertension, diabetes or heart disease don't get you, cancers may. Keep off the McDonalds and CocaCola.

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