Nearly 1 in 5 Deaths are Caused by Obesity



A new research study finds that obesity causes nearly one in five deaths in the United States.


 

NEARLY 1 IN 5 DEATHS ARE CAUSED BY OBESITY

As I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, obesity is an underappreciated risk factor for cancer, as nearly 10 percent of all cancer cases, including some of the deadliest forms of cancer, are directly linked to obesity.  Being overweight or obese has also been linked to an increased risk of other serious illnesses, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others.

Now, a newly published public health study strongly suggests that premature death caused by excessive body weight may be much more common than previously thought.  This new study appears in the American Journal of Public Health.

Following the largest analysis of national death records and national health surveys ever performed in the United States, the contribution of obesity to annual death rates between 1986 and 2006 was calculated.

Based upon the findings of this study, being overweight or obese accounted for 5 percent of deaths among black men and 16 percent of deaths among white men, and being overweight or obese accounted for a whopping 27 percent of deaths among black women and 22 percent of deaths among white women!

Importantly, this public health study finds that the contribution of obesity to death rates in the United States appears to be significantly greater (nearly 4 times greater!) than prior estimates based upon less comprehensive public health studies.

The findings of this important public health study suggest that obesity may be a much greater public health problem than was previously appreciated, and that more effective strategies to reduce the epidemic of obesity should be considered and implemented.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

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Links to Other Breaking Health News

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Half of Us Will Develop Cancer in Our Lifetimes

Protein Critical for Long-Term Memory Identified

HPV Virus and Cancer Risk

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Doctor Provides Patients with Own Feces for Fecal Transplants

Rising Arsenic Levels in Chicken

Dramatic Increase in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged Americans Over the Past Decade

Cutting Umbilical Cord Too Soon May Cause Anemia in Newborns

Spiny New Bandage May Speed Healing of Skin Wounds

Study Confirms that Men Really Do Have Trouble Reading the Thoughts of Women

Deadly new Bird Flu Strain Cases Continue to Rise

Abdominal Fat Increases Kidney Disease Risk

Increasing Dietary Potassium & Decreasing Salt Intake Reduces Stroke Risk

A New Explanation for the Link Between Red Meat & Cardiovascular Disease

Deadly New Bird Flu Identified in China

Infection Risk: Keeping an Eye on Your Dentist

Couple Loses 500 Pounds in Two Years

Coffee May Reduce Crash Risk for Long-Distance Drivers

Tiny Implant Tells Your Smart Phone When You Are Having A Heart Attack

Transplanted Kidney Causes Death Due to Rabies

Eating While Distracted Increases Calorie Intake

Resistant Bacteria are on the Rise

High Levels of Stress Linked to an Increase in Heart Disease Risk

Small Snacks Cut Hunger as Well as Big Snacks

Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

Ancient Mummies Found to Have Heart Disease by CT Scan

Physically Fit Kids Do Better on Math & Reading Tests

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Evades the Immune System

Possible Link Between BPA and Asthma

Baby Boomers Appear Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The Biology of Love in the Brain

Millennials May be the Most Stressed-Out Generation

Even Modest Alcohol Intake Raises Cancer Risk

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

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Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed


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According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, 3.5 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


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Obesity, Alcohol & Liver Disease

March 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



  “A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 

OBESITY, ALCOHOL & LIVER DISEASE

 

Chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, is the 12th most common cause of death in the United States, alone, and causes nearly 30,000 deaths per year in America.  Increased alcohol intake and obesity are both known risk factors for chronic liver disease.  Moreover, recent research has suggested that the combination of alcohol intake and obesity may synergistically increase the risk of chronic liver disease above and beyond the sum of these two risk factors.  Two newly published prospective, randomized clinical research studies from the United Kingdom further suggest that increased alcohol intake in the presence of obesity significantly increases the risk of chronic liver disease, and premature death related to chronic liver disease.  Both of these studies appear in the current issue of the British Medical Journal.

In the first study, more than 1.2 million women (average age was 56 years) were recruited between 1996 and 2001.  In this Million Woman Study, after an average duration of follow-up of 6.2 years, 1,811 women were either admitted to a hospital with a new diagnosis of cirrhosis, or died of cirrhosis.  Based upon the extensive health data collected from all of the participants in this enormous public health study, both obesity and alcohol intake were proportionally linked to an increased risk of cirrhosis, as well as death due to cirrhosis.  (Note: a standard glass of wine, mixed drink, or beer contains about 0.6 ounces, or 14 grams, of alcohol.)

For every 5 units of BMI above 22.5, the relative risk of cirrhosis increased by 28 percent (BMI is a standard measure of body fat content that is adjusted for height and weight).  Among women who reported the consumption of less than 70 grams of alcohol per week (equivalent to 5 alcoholic drinks per week), the absolute risk of developing cirrhosis, over a period of 5 years, was 20 percent higher in women with a BMI of 30 or more, when compared to non-obese women with normal BMIs (“obesity” is defined as a BMI of 30, or greater; while being “overweight is defined as having a BMI of 25 or greater, but less than 30).  Among the women who reported consuming 150 grams or more of alcohol per week (which is equivalent to 11 or more alcoholic drinks per week), a normal BMI was associated with a 170 percent increase in the absolute risk of developing cirrhosis, while obese women (with a BMI of 30 or greater) who consumed 150 grams or more of alcohol per week experienced a whopping 400 percent increase in the risk of developing cirrhosis!  When this data was extrapolated to the population of the United Kingdom, as a whole, it was determined that alcohol consumption, particularly at higher levels, accounted for 42 percent of all cases of non-fatal and fatal cirrhosis in middle-aged women, while obesity caused an additional 17 percent of all non-fatal and fatal cases of cirrhosis of the liver.

 

In the second published study in the British Medical Journal, data from two prospective clinical studies was analyzed.  A total of 9,559 men participated in these prospective public health studies, with a highly impressive median follow-up of 29 years.  These nearly 10,000 male study participants were divided into separate study groups based upon their measured BMI and their self-reported alcohol intake.

During nearly 3 decades of observation, 80 (0.8 percent) of these male research volunteers died directly due to chronic liver disease, while another 146 (1.5 percent) died of multiple causes, but with liver disease as a contributing cause of death.

As with the previous study, there were significant interactions between alcohol intake, BMI, and chronic liver disease (after adjusting for other known risk factors for chronic liver disease).  In this study, the consumption of 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week in volunteers with a normal BMI more than doubled the relative risk of dying of chronic liver disease when compared to other non-obese men who consumed less than 15 drinks per week.  Among the overweight (but not obese) men who consumed 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week, the relative risk of death due to chronic liver disease was more than 7 times higher than was observed in overweight men who consumed significantly less than 15 drinks per week.  Finally, and most disconcertingly, obese men who consumed 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week experienced nearly 18 times the relative risk of dying from chronic liver disease as compared to their obese counterparts who drank significantly less alcohol.  (Even among obese men who consumed 14 or fewer alcoholic drinks per week, the relative risk of death due to chronic liver disease was still more than 4 times higher than what was observed in obese men who did not drink alcoholic drinks at all.)

Based upon this data, the researchers conducting this study were able to determine that there was a synergistic, enhanced risk of dying from liver disease when alcohol intake was present in addition to being overweight or obese.  This “relative excess risk” due to an interaction between alcohol intake and increasing BMI amounted to 4 times the relative risk of simply adding the individual liver disease risks of increased BMI and alcohol intake.

 

Taken together, these two large prospective public health studies confirm previous observations that both rising levels of excess weight and increasing levels of regular alcohol intake are associated, both separately and together, with an increased risk of chronic liver disease, and death due to chronic liver disease.  Moreover, the combination of obesity and increased alcohol intake appears to be a particularly severe risk factor for the development of chronic liver disease, and for death due to liver disease.  Therefore, in addition to the multiple other health risks associated with obesity and excessive alcohol intake, the results of these two studies should cause all of us to reexamine our lifestyle and dietary habits in our pursuit of better health and greater longevity.

 

To learn more about the role of alcohol and obesity in cancer risk, look for the publication of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the spring of this year. 



In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti


Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can. 

 

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