Being overweight or obese significantly impacts the long-term quality of life among those who become ill with a lung and high blood pressure condition, a study has found.

A US research team from Philadelphia have been looking at how weight impacts those who experience a pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). People who suffer from PAH have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from their heart to the lungs.

For this study, the researchers studied health data from 767 people with PAH. Of those people, who were found via the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry, 40% were obese and 33% were deemed overweight.

The obese people were more likely to have idiopathic PAH, which means the cause or process of the condition is not known.

As part of the trial, the research team looked at the relationship between different weights and people’s quality of life with PAH, any hospitalisation and whether they were able to live without a transplant.

Quality of life was not as good as it could be among those with weight issues and it worsened over time, they found. Those with obesity or who were overweight were more likely to be admitted to hospital, however their chances of requiring a transplant were a lot lower when compared to people of a healthier weight.

Dr Jeff Min, from the department of medicine at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “Overweight and obese patients had a trend towards increased incidence rates for hospitalisations when compared to normal-weight individuals.

 “Despite this, overweight and obese individuals had better overall transplant-free survival as compared to the normal-weight patients, consistent with an ‘obesity paradox’ in PAH.”

The findings of the study have been published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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