Low back pain, stroke and heart disease are leading causes of disability due to obesity | Leader in Social Information

The Spanish Society of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine (Sermef) warned this week of an increase in cases of disability caused by the consequences of pathologies associated with obesity, such as low back pain, stroke, heart disease or osteoarthritis.

On the occasion of Obesity Day on March 4, Sermef warned of a progressive increase in obesity rates, which in turn is causing an increase in disability due to the consequences of pathologies associated with excess weight, such as heart problems, strokes. , high blood pressure, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and mobility problems due to osteoarticular injuries.

In fact, rehabilitation doctors, based on their daily work, confirm that over the past two decades in Spain there has been an “alarming” increase in disability caused by obesity-related pathologies. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Obesity Observatory, 37.75% of people over 15 years of age are overweight and 16% are obese.

Faced with this challenge, Sermef launched a new obesity specialty called the Obesity Working Group in 2022 to provide an effective and safe response to the rehabilitation care needs of overweight and obese people in various areas. in order to obtain the best results in restoring and improving the functionality of these people.


In this context, this scientific society noted that the main causes of disability due to obesity are heart disease, stroke and low back pain. “These are processes that rehabilitation physicians value and treat in physical medicine and rehabilitation services.”

“Other processes that we typically treat in these services are patients who have had amputations and spinal cord injuries, situations that involve changes in body composition and the onset of obesity,” Sermef added.

In this spirit, “rehabilitation physicians work on the consequences of diseases and clinical situations that lead to disabilities, such as obesity. Thus, we focus our efforts on restoring or improving motor function in patients with disabilities due to neurological problems (such as the effects of stroke) or orthopedic problems (muscle and bone injuries).”

“Social factors such as lifestyle changes with decreased physical activity, increased time spent sitting and increased consumption of energy-rich foods, especially refined carbohydrates, are clearly associated with obesity. This has consequences, on the one hand, in the form of a reduction in life expectancy,” the scientific community emphasized.

Finally, Sermef noted that “the NHS’s failure to recognize obesity as a disease, and not just a risk factor for other chronic diseases, is a significant problem.” “Failure to recognize this disease implies an incomplete diagnosis, which leads to less treatment. We ask for your recognition,” they said.

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