Careful Consideration Warranted for Obese Patients In Pain

In one study of 3,000 twins, after adjusting for variables, twins who were overweight were more likely to report painful conditions.

Physicians treating patients who are obese and have pain have several factors to take into account, according to a recently-published review.

The review, by Narouse et al (Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2015;40:91-111), discussed these varying factors and it is a very informative review. 

Obesity affects millions of patients per year, and puts them at greater risk for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other issues as well. In addition, obesity does affect how pain presents, and should be considered when discussing treatment of pain. 

In the review, the researchers noted that in one study of 3,000 twins, after adjusting for age, sex, and other variables, overweight twins were more likely to report painful conditions, including fibromyalgia, more than control sets of twins.

Pain physicians need to be aware of treating these patients, as medications like morphine may be metabolized faster in patients with obesity. Other medications, like steroids, can cause weight gain, which is also important to consider in these patients. 

Learn more about pain medications and obesity by listening to the podcast. 

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