New research to be published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology points to a strong association between maternal obesity and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Previous research has shown that maternal obesity is associated with pregnancy complications such as hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes and maternal death; and fetal/neonatal complications such as stillbirth, birth defects, macrosomia (big baby syndrome) and shoulder dystocia. The data for this research was from the Hyperglycaemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes study (HAPO) which examined the associations of mild hyperglycaemia with pregnancy outcomes. There was strict selection and researchers looked at the records of 23, 316 pregnant women from 15 centres in nine countries. All participants had their BMI measured and underwent a standard oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) between 24 and 32 weeks gestation. Samples of their random plasma glucose (RPG) were taken at 34 - 37 weeks. Ethnicity was recorded and lifestyle data were also collated (eg.
The European Medicines Agency has finalised a safety review of medicines containing sibutramine. The Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) concluded that the risks of these medicines are greater than their benefits and recommended the suspension of marketing authorisations for these medicines across the European Union. Sibutramine-containing medicines are authorised as Reductil, Reduxade and Zelium and other tradenames in the European Union. They are used to promote weight-loss in obese patients and in overweight patients who also have other risk factors such as type-2 diabetes or dyslipidaemia (abnormal levels of fat in the blood), together with diet and exercise. Doctors should no longer prescribe, and pharmacists should no longer dispense the medicine. Patients currently taking sibutramine should make an appointment with their doctor at the next convenient time to discuss alternative measures to lose weight. Patients who wish to stop treatment before seeing their doctor can do so at any time.
Commenting on today's claims by UK bariatric surgeons that some obese patients are not getting access to the NHS weight-loss surgery they need as recommended by NICE, a NICE spokesperson said: "We must be clear that obesity is a killer. It causes serious medical conditions that can result in death. The NHS is currently spending billions of pounds treating obesity and the conditions it causes. If, by recommending surgery for people who are morbidly obese [that is, with a BMI >40kg/m2, or between 35kg/m2 and 40kg/m2 if they also have other serious health conditions], NICE can help to reduce the number of morbidly obese people, we can also make cost savings for the NHS in the long run. "The NICE guideline on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children is very clear that this treatment is only for people who are severely overweight, who are already receiving treatment in a specialist clinic and who have tried other treatments to lose weight in the past.
Obesity comes with plenty of health risks, but there's one that's perhaps not so well known: an increased risk of developing cancer, and especially certain types of cancer like liver cancer. Now, a group of researchers reporting in the January 22nd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, have confirmed in mice that obesity does indeed act as a "bona fide tumor promoter." They also have good evidence to explain how that happens. "Doctors always worry about our weight, but the focus is often on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which can be managed pretty well with existing drugs, " said Michael Karin of the University of California, San Diego. "However, we should also worry about elevated cancer risk. If we can reduce cancer deaths by as many as 90, 000 per year, that's a lot of people - a lot of lives." Karin's team shows that liver cancer is fostered by the chronic inflammatory state that goes with obesity, and two well known inflammatory factors in particular.
Over the last four years, Alabamians have almost lost 500, 000 pounds, but according to health experts, that's just a drop in the bucket when considering the state's problem with obesity. Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention peg Alabama's adults as the second most obese in the nation, a ranking that had dropped to third, but quickly inched back up. Organizations all across the state are waging war against this trend in a contest called Scale Back Alabama. The 10-week, weight-loss competition is in its fourth year of encouraging the state's adults to exercise more and eat less. "We began this contest with Alabama's hospitals four years ago, " said Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer. "And while it's a fairly major undertaking, there's no time to let up. A recent update from the CDC provided information on obesity rates by region, and we have some areas of the state with 36 to 48 percent of adults listed as obese, meaning their body mass index is more than 30.
Epidemiological studies indicate that being overweight or obese is associated with increased cancer risk. The most dramatic effect of obesity on cancer risk has been noted for a common form of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC. Modeling the effect of obesity in mice, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have conclusively demonstrated that obesity is tumor-promoting and have obtained evidence that this effect depends on induction of low-grade, chronic inflammation. Their results, published January 22 by the journal Cell, may suggest novel therapy to prevent HCC development in obese men who suffer from chronic liver disease. Michael Karin, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in UCSD's Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, who led the study, found that obesity enhanced the development of HCC by stimulating the production of tumor-promoting cytokines - interleukin-6 (Il-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) - that also cause chronic inflammation.
The higher a person's degree of obesity, the higher their risk of stroke - regardless of race, gender and how obesity is measured, according to a new study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. "It has not been clear whether overweight and obesity are risk factors for stroke, especially among blacks, " said Hiroshi Yatsuya, M.D., Ph.D., study lead author and visiting associate professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "There are also questions about which measure of excess weight (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio) is most closely associated with disease risk." Analyzing the ARIC Study database in which subjects' BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were measured at the study's start, Yatsuya and colleagues followed 13, 549 middle-aged black and white men and women in four U.S. communities from 1987 through 2005. Participants started the study free of cancer and cardiovascular disease. During the follow-up period of about 19 years, 598 ischemic strokes occurred.
Too Many Private Hospitals Failing Patients When It Comes To Weight Loss Surgery, Warns Leading Surgeon, UK
One of the UK's leading bariatric surgeons has expressed serious concern about the extremely poor levels of aftercare being provided to many weight loss surgery patients by private hospitals who offer 'cut-price' surgery both here and abroad. Consultant laparoscopic and bariatric* surgeon David Kerrigan, the Royal College of Surgeons' representative who advised the government on the NICE obesity guidelines in use today, said the lack of follow up care provided by some hospitals was 'shocking' and could put patients' lives at risk. "I have long been concerned about hospitals who in effect abandon patients after surgery to keep costs down and make a bigger margin then just turn a blind eye when things go wrong, " said Mr Kerrigan, former secretary and founder member of the British Obesity Surgery Society. "It takes a great deal of money and commitment to put the resources in place to allow patients 24/7 access to the surgeon and his team and provide specialist medical advice at every step of the way following bariatric surgery.
Imagine if treatments for disease could be based not on a patient's diagnosis but instead on the characteristics of their tissue. By identifying and decoding the cryptic messages hidden deep inside the human proteome, scientists and physicians who study personalized medicine are seeking more effective treatments and disease management for patients. Lance Liotta, MD, and Emanuel Petricoin, III, professors of life sciences and co-directors of George Mason University's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), are pioneers in the field of patient-tailored research and personalized medicine. The two are studying biomarkers (or indicators of disease in tissue and bodily fluids) related to cancer, heart disease, liver disease and obesity. They recently launched a unique clinical trial in partnership with oncologists and co-principal investigators Kirstin Edmiston, MD, medical director of cancer services at Inova Health System, and Alexander I. Spira, MD, director of Fairfax Northern Virginia Hematology Oncology Research Program, to treat patients with late-stage colorectal cancer, a fatal cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about a counterfeit and potentially harmful version of Alli 60 mg capsules (120 count refill kit). Preliminary laboratory tests conducted by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)-the maker of the FDA approved over-the-counter weight-loss product- revealed that the counterfeit version did not contain orlistat, the active ingredient in its product. Instead, the counterfeit product contained the controlled substance sibutramine. Sibutramine is a drug that should not be used in certain patient populations or without physician oversight. Sibutramine can also interact in a harmful way with other medications the consumer may be taking. Consumers began reporting suspected counterfeit Alli to GSK in early December 2009. GSK has determined that the counterfeit product has been sold over the internet. However, there is no evidence at this time that the counterfeit Alli product has been sold through other channels, such as retail stores. The counterfeit Alli product looks similar to the authentic product, with a few notable differences.