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October 8, 2009 Volume VI, No. 21
Dear Healthcare Intelligence Network Client,
In this week's issue, learn how obesity can affect women during pregnancy and how being overweight can increase their chances of developing more health problems later in life. However, the good news is that workplace wellness programs can help to prevent obesity and lower healthcare costs.
Editor, Disease Management Update
This week's DM news:
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A new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) researchers has found that being overweight in mid-life was associated with having more health problems later in life, including multiple chronic diseases, and impaired cognitive function, physical function and mental health. In a large study population of women who lived until at least age 70, women who were lean at age 18 and maintained a healthy weight through mid-life had the best odds of achieving optimal health later in life. It is the first study to show the role adiposity may play in the overall health of women who survive to older ages.
Obese, Overweight Women Have Higher Risk of Giving Birth to Baby with Heart Defects
The largest study of obesity during pregnancy and babies with heart defects in the United States finds that women who were overweight or obese before they became pregnant had an approximately 18 percent increased risk of having a baby with certain heart defects compared with women who were of normal BMI before they became pregnant. Severely obese women had approximately a 30 percent increased risk, according to a study by the CDC.
The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found a significant increase in several types of heart defects in babies born to overweight and obese women, compared to babies born to normal weight women. These included obstructive defects on the right side of the heart and defects in the tissue that separates the two upper chambers of the heart.
The study looked at 25 types of heart defects and found associations with obesity for 10 of them. Five of these 10 types were also associated with being overweight before pregnancy. Women who were overweight but not obese had approximately a 15 percent increased risk of delivering a baby with certain heart defects.
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