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Four Out of Five Obesity Cases Are Undocumented

Those with an official diagnosis are more likely to have a management plan

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Only one in five obese patients is diagnosed as such by their primary care physician, and those who are given a formal diagnosis are more likely to have an obesity management plan, according to a study published in the August issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Warren G. Thompson, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from the Mayo Clinic database on 9,827 patients who were seen for a general medical examination.

Although 2,543 patients had a body mass index of 30 or more, only 505 (19.9 percent) had a documented diagnosis of obesity and 574 (22.6 percent) were provided with an obesity management plan. Men and older patients were less likely to have a documented diagnosis of obesity, while those with a body mass index of more than 35, diabetes or obstructive sleep apnea were more likely to have a diagnosis of obesity.

"Obesity documentation resulted in a higher chance of the formulation of an obesity management plan," the authors write. "Physicians must undertake the first vital step of appropriate identification of obesity in an attempt to help control this growing epidemic," they conclude.

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