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What is a Co-Morbid Condition?

By Dr. James Buwen | June 15, 2020

If you’ve attended a webinar, seminar, talked to a surgeon or have done your own research on weight loss surgery, you’ve probably heard the term co-morbid condition. But what does it mean? 

A co-morbid condition is an obesity-related condition. It occurs when more than one disease exists along with one or more other diseases in the same person at the same time. Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and obstructive sleep apnea are common obesity-related conditions. With a BMI of 30 or greater there is an increased risk of developing co-morbid conditions, which are often long-term, chronic conditions. Co-morbid conditions are tied to worsening health outcomes, the need for more complex treatment and disease management, as well as higher health care costs. 

Weight Loss Surgery Reduces or Resolves Many Co-Morbid Conditions

Weight loss surgery, and significant weight loss in general, reduces or resolves many co-morbid conditions. Weight loss surgery can reduce/resolve 95% of diabetes and 56% of heart disease, and reduce cancer-risk by more than 50%. Decreasing excess body weight not only improves or reduces obesity-related conditions but also physical, mental and social well being.  

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  1. NEJM Volume 357(8):753-761 (August 23, 2007). Any cause Mortality reduced by 40%, and specific cause mortality decreased by 56% for heart disease, 92% for diabetes, 60% for cancer
  2. Kitahara CM, et al. Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40–59 kg/m) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies. PLOS Medicine. July 8, 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001673.
James Buwen, DO, is a bariatric and general surgeon with New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Sparta and Totowa, New Jersey. New Jersey Bariatric Center helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures. New Jersey Bariatric Center’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average.
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