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Metabolically Healthy Obese Still at Risk of Adverse Outcomes

All metabolically unhealthy groups have similarly elevated mortality, cardiovascular event risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Even metabolically healthy obese are at increased risk of all-cause mortality and/or cardiovascular events, according to a review published in the Dec. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Caroline K. Kramer, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined the effect of metabolic status on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in normal-weight, overweight, and obese individuals in a meta-analysis of eight studies involving 61,386 individuals and 3,988 events.

Based on studies with 10 or more years of follow-up, the researchers found that the risk of events was significantly increased among metabolically healthy obese (relative risk [RR], 1.24), compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals. A similarly elevated risk was seen for all metabolically unhealthy groups: normal-weight (RR, 3.14), overweight (RR, 2.70), and obese (RR, 2.65).

"Compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, obese persons are at increased risk for adverse long-term outcomes even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities, suggesting that there is no healthy pattern of increased weight," the authors write.

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