In a study, published in the recent issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers from St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital, Michigan, had concluded that obesity is a risk factor for venous thromboembolic disease in people, more to those who are below the age of 40years.
Since 1927, obesity has been thought to be a risk factor for fatal pulmonary embolism (PE). Because of the high proportion of obesity in the general population, previous studies have not determined whether obesity is an independent risk factor for PE or deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
The relative risk of DVT, comparing obese patients with non-obese patients, was 2.50. The relative risk of PE was 2.21. Obese females had a greater relative risk for DVT than obese males, 2.75 versus 2.02. Obesity had the greatest impact on patients aged less than 40 years, in whom the relative risk for PE in obese patients was 5.19 and the relative risk for DVT was 5.20. In females aged less than 40 years, the relative risk for DVT comparing obese with non-obese patients was 6.10. In males less than 40 years of age, the relative risk for DVT was 3.71.
Obesity, being a risk factor for PE, particularly in men and women under age 40, the presence of obesity may alert physicians to a possibility of the diagnosis. The diagnosis of PE is frequently missed even though PE is the third most common acute cardiovascular disease after myocardial infarction and stroke, said the researchers.