Obesity can lead to additional health problems.

Obesity Increases Risk Rates

The mortality risk rate for an obese person is 1-2% per year, compared to the actual risk of having bariatric surgery, which averages from .05% (Adjustable Gastric Band) to .5% (Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass).

Some of the diseases and conditions associated with obesity

Obesity can cause a number of additional risks, called co-morbidities that have the potential to affect quality of life and reduce life expectancy. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die as someone of average weight. That means there is a higher risk for someone who does not get the surgery than one who does.

Overweight individuals are more likely to have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor in stroke and heart disease. They are also at greater risk for angina, which is chest pain that is caused by a decrease of oxygen to the heart, and they are more likely to die suddenly from stroke or heart disease without exhibiting any previous symptoms.

Obesity causes a resistance to insulin, a hormone that regulates the body’s blood sugar levels. This causes high blood sugar and leads to Type 2 diabetes, which is a major cause of blindness, stroke, heart disease and early death. Overweight people are twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as those who are not overweight.

Obesity has been linked to cancer of the breast, uterus, gallbladder, cervix, and ovaries in women, and of the prostate, rectum, and colon in men.

Although it is not exactly clear how obesity is connected to these conditions, the risk of disease increases as weight increases.

Extra weight puts extra pressure on the joints, especially the knees, hips, and lower back. This can wear away the protective cushion around the joints (the cartilage), causing pain, inflammation, decreased mobility, and disk problems in the back.

Obesity is linked to reduced levels of HDL cholesterol – “good” cholesterol. This results in higher levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and can lead to heart disease.

The risk of sleep apnea, which occurs when a sleeping person briefly stops breathing, increases as weight increases. The condition affects 4 percent of Americans and is a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

This is a condition in which excess uric acid in the blood causes joint pain. It is more common in overweight people than in people of average weight.

Obesity increases the potential for high blood pressure and certain types of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It can also relax pelvic muscles, creating problems in labor and delivery.

Obesity has been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome, a cause of infertility in women.