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Obesity carries increased diarrhoea risk

14 Oct 2019

Obesity appears to have a positive association with chronic diarrhoea, independent of several known confounding factors, as shown in a study.

Researchers used data from the 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and identified 5,126 respondents who completed the bowel health questionnaire (BHQ), were ≥20 years of age, and had no prior history of inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease or colon cancer.

Of the respondents, 70 (1.40 percent) were underweight, 1,350 (26.34 percent) were normal weight, 1,731 (33.77 percent) were overweight, 1,097 (21.40 percent) were obese and 878 (17.13 percent) were severely obese.

Chronic diarrhoea was present in 8.5 percent of obese and 11.5 percent of severely obese individuals as compared to only 4.5 percent of normal weight individuals. Stepwise regression showed severe obesity to be independently associated with increased risk of diarrhoea. Factors such as dietary, lifestyle, psychological and medical comorbidities were included in the analysis as potential confounders.

The present data indicate that the risk of diarrhoea increases with severity of obesity, the researchers said. Future studies should explore the underlying physiologic mechanisms of the association between obesity and chronic diarrhoea.

While not clearly understood, the mechanisms by which obese individuals are likely to have chronic diarrhoea may involve bile acid malabsorption, faster colonic transit, and increased intestinal permeability, microbial dysbiosis and endotoxemia (ie, increased levels of lipopolysaccharide).  [Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2013;38:967‐976; Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2008;295:G382‐388; Int J Endocrinol 2018;2018:4095789]

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Most Read Articles
6 days ago
Immobilization or disuse of the forearm leads to impairment in the ability of a protein-rich meal to promote positive muscle amino acid balance, which is aggravated by dietary lipid oversupply, suggests a study. Disuse also lowers postprandial forearm amino acid uptake, but this is not exacerbated under high-fat conditions.
18 May 2020
Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA) are more effective than basal insulin in the management of total (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), reveals a recent study.
17 May 2020
Increased coffee consumption among regular drinkers is associated with higher estimated glomerular filtration rate and confers protection against the risk of chronic kidney disease stages G3–G5 and albuminuria, as shown in a study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 16 May 2020
Excess weight, greater abdominal fat, inflammation and low physical performance can all contribute to insulin resistance in middle-age Singaporean women, and these variables explain why the condition is more common among women of Chinese than Malay and Indian ethnicities, a study has found.