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Obese less likely to die after heart op

Press Association logoPress Association 20/01/2017

Obese and overweight patients are less likely to die after a heart operation than those who are a healthy weight, research suggests.

The new study throws NHS rationing in some parts of the country - where obese patients have been told to slim down before they can have surgery - into doubt.

Experts funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) analysed data for the number of people who died in hospital following heart surgery, according to their weight.

The results showed that people who were a healthy weight were almost twice as likely to die as those who were obese or overweight, while those who were underweight had the highest risk of death.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, included 401,227 adults who had undergone heart surgery between 2002 and 2013.

Overall, 11,511 patients died. Some 4.4 per cent people of a normal weight died, compared to just 2.8 per cent who were overweight and 2.7 per cent who were obese.

Meanwhile, 8.5 per cent people who were underweight died.

The University of Leicester researchers took into account factors that could influence the results, such as people's age or whether they had other health conditions.

But the study still found that being fat - including suffering complications of obesity such as high blood pressure, diabetes and artery disease - seemed to offer protection.

The researchers also reviewed data from 557,720 further patients included in studies across Europe, the United States and Asia, and found similar results.

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