USA: Obesity-related deaths have tripled in 20 years

Between 1999 and 2020, the number of deaths from obesity-related cardiovascular disease in the US tripled, reports the Journal of the American Heart ociation.

Obesity remains a global public health problem and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart ociation, 42% of Americans are obese. of the U.S. population, an increase of nearly 10 percent. compared to the previous decade.

“In every country in the world, the number of people suffering from obesity is increasing. Our study is the first to show that the rising burden of obesity translates into an increase in deaths from heart disease,” said study lead author (, Dr. Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, a cardiologist and clinical lecturer at William Harvey Research Institute in London. “This rising trend of obesity affects some populations more than others – especially black women.”

Researchers analyzed data collected between 1999 and 2020 on 281,135 deaths where obesity was recorded as a risk factor in The Multiple Cause of Death database, which includes mortality and population from all US counties. They took into account race, gender, and urban and rural environments to determine differences in deaths from heart disease, where obesity was cited as a contributing factor.

43.6 percent deaths concerned women, 78.1 percent. groups were Caucasian adults, 19.8% – black adults, 1.1 percent adults from Asia or the Pacific Islands, and 1 percent. – adult American Indians or adult Alaska Natives.

Overall, the number of deaths from obesity-related cardiovascular disease tripled between 1999 and 2020 (from 2.2 per 100,000 inhabitants to 6.6 per 100,000 inhabitants).

Deaths from obesity-related cardiovascular disease were higher among blacks (highest among black women) than any other racial group at 6.7 per 100,000 population, followed by American Indian and Alaska Native adults – 3.8 per 100,000.

Black women had a higher rate of death from obesity-related heart disease than all other women in the study. In other racial groups, men had more deaths from obesity-related heart disease than women.

Black adults living in urban areas had a higher rate of death from obesity-related heart disease compared to black adults living in rural areas (6.8 vs. 5.9 per 100,000), while living in rural areas was ociated with a higher rate of death from obesity-related heart disease for people in all other racial groups.

“The trend of higher deaths from obesity-related cardiovascular disease among black women compared to men was striking and distinct from all other racial groups included in our study,” said senior author Dr. Mamas A. Mamas of Phil Keele University in Keele (UK).

According to Dr Raisi-Estabaugh, black people living in urban communities may be more affected by socioeconomic poverty and inequalities in access to healthcare than black people living in rural areas. Additionally, they have not benefited from the increased access to health care that appears to benefit people of other racial backgrounds living in urban areas.

The researchers note that coding and data entry errors may limit the findings because the source was electronic medical records, the accuracy of which they could not verify. However, the results continue to highlight the need to address obesity more effectively for individuals and communities.

Author: Pawel Wernicki

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