The obese may fare better after stroke: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obese and overweight individuals are less likely to die in the 5 years after suffering a stroke than are their normal-weight peers, a new study shows.
In the study, researchers analyzed data from 21,884 stroke patients in Denmark who had their body mass index (BMI) determined. BMI is an accepted means of determining how fat or thin a person is.
The patients were placed into one of five BMI groups: underweight (BMI < 18.5), normal weight (18.5 to 24.9), overweight (25.0 to 29.9), obese (30.0 to 34.9), and severely obese (35 and greater) and were followed for up to 5 years after their stroke.
Compared with the normal weight individuals, the overweight, obese and severely obese subjects were 27 percent, 16 percent, and 16 percent less likely, respectively, to die during follow-up, Dr. Tom Skyhoj Olsen, from Hvidovre University Hospital and colleagues found.
Underweight patients, by contrast, were 63 percent more likely to die, they report in the February 29th online issue of Neuroepidemiology.
According to the researchers, the link between obesity and poor disease outcomes, in general, is usually fueled by the presence of other conditions. Obese individuals who are otherwise healthy may fare just as well as, or perhaps in the case of stroke, better than their lean counterparts, they conclude.
SOURCE: Neuroepidemiology, online February 29, 2008.