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One in eight hospital admissions for women over 50 are due to excess weight

Posted Mar 16 2014 1:39pm

Obesity and excess weight are responsible for one in eight admissions to hospital for middle-aged women in the UK, new research has shown. This correlates to around two million hospital days.

The research was carried out as part of the Oxford University headed Million Women Study , which is a national study of women’s health, involving more than one million UK women aged 50 and over. It is a collaborative project that aims to answer questions about the factors that affect women’s health in this age group. The main focus of the study relates to the effects of hormone replacement therapyThe administration of female hormones in cases where they are not sufficiently produced by the body. Abbreviated to HRT. use, but the large size of the study means that a very broad range of health issues can be addressed.

The research looked at the relationship between BMI and rates of hospital admission in middle-aged women. The more excess weight women put on, the more time they were likely to spend in hospital, the study found. Even moderately overweight women were more likely to be admitted to hospital than those of normal weight.

The lead author of the study was statistical epidemiologist GillianReeves. She said that by focussing on specific diseases such as diabetesA disorder caused by insufficient or absent production of the hormone insulin by the pancreas, or because the tissues are resistant to the effects. and breast cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. previous studies may have under- estimated the impact of BMI.

The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

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