Morbidity and mortality associated with obesity

Type Article

Journal Article


M. Abdelaal; C. W. le Roux; N. G. Docherty

Year of publication



Ann Transl Med








Obesity and its repercussions constitute an important source of morbidity, impaired quality of life and its complications can have a major bearing on life expectancy. The present article summarizes the most important co-morbidities of obesity and their prevalence. Furthermore, it describes classification and grading systems that can be used to assess the individual and combined impact of co-morbid conditions on mortality risk. The literature was screened for assessment tools that can be deployed in the quantification of morbidity and mortality risk in individual patients. Thirteen specific domains have been identified that account for morbidity and mortality in obesity. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer account for the greatest mortality risk associated with obesity. The King's Criteria and Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) were identified as useful tools for the detection and monitoring of individual patient mortality risk in obesity care. The stark facts on the complications of obesity should be capitalized on to improve patient management and knowledge and referred to in the wider dissemination of public health messages aimed at improving primary prevention.