-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Jan. 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are four times
more likely than men to seek weight-loss surgery, a new study
And men typically are older, more obese and sicker than women
when they do see a doctor about having the procedure, the
"It is important for men to realize that obesity poses a serious threat to their health and life spans," senior study author Dr. Mohamed Ali, chief of bariatric surgery at the University of California, Davis, said in a university news release. "A patient who is 100 pounds or more above his ideal body weight poses a therapeutic dilemma and should be referred to a surgeon."
Ali said that although weight-loss surgery can help obese men,
surgeons must weigh the potential benefits against a patient's risk
for post-surgical complications.
"This risk would be significantly lessened if obese males were referred to [weight-loss] surgeons before they develop serious disease complications," Ali said.
For the study, published in the December issue of the journal
Surgical Endoscopy, researchers examined data from nearly
1,400 patients who were evaluated for weight-loss surgery at UC
Davis between 2002 and 2006. Nearly 82 percent of the patients were
The male patients had more obesity-related health problems than
women (an average of 4.5 versus 4.2) and more serious forms of
these conditions. For example, men were more likely to have high
blood pressure (69 percent versus 55 percent), diabetes (36 percent
versus 29 percent) and obstructive sleep apnea (72 percent versus
46 percent). Metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that
increases the risk of heart disease, also was more common among
males (21 percent versus 15 percent).
Men also tended to have higher body-mass index (BMI), a measure
of body fat based on height and weight. The men's average BMI was
nearly 49, while women's BMI averaged less than 47. A BMI greater
than 40 is considered severely obese.
Other differences: Male patients were about two years older than
female patients and more likely to be over age 50.
At the time Ali conducted his analysis, 70 percent of the
patients in the study had undergone weight-loss surgery, but only
14 percent of them were men.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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