Obe­sity in women could cause per­ma­nent sight loss, re­port finds

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By CON­RAD LANDIN

Scot­land’s “obe­sity epi­demic” could be caus­ing “ir­re­versible sight loss” in young women, a new study has sug­gested.

Re­searchers an­a­lysed pat­terns all pa­tients who pre­sented to NHS Fife over the course of a year with idio­pathic in­tracra­nial hy­per­ten­sion (IIH).

This is a dis­ease which typ­i­cally af­fects young over­weight fe­males, caus­ing headaches. High pres­sure within the brain can also dam­age nerves of sight in a small num­ber of pa­tients.

Dr An­drew Blaikie, who over­saw the re­search, warned that high lev­els of obe­sity in Scot­land were “in­creas­ing the risk of a small but sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of young peo­ple los­ing vi­sion”.

He said: “We are in the midst of an obe­sity epi­demic and if this con­tin­ues we will see IIH be­com­ing more com­mon, in­creas­ing the risk of a small but sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of young peo­ple los­ing vi­sion.

“As be­ing over­weight is the cause of the dis­ease the pri­mary treat­ment is to lose weight and achieve a nor­mal BMI. This can be aug­mented with medici­ne­sand­some­times­surgery to pre­vent any long-term dam­age to sight and im­prove symp­toms of headache.”

In 2017, 65 per cent of Scot­land’s adult pop­u­la­tion was con­sid­ered over­weight. All of those who pre­sented with IIH were­over­weightorobese,and all but one were fe­male.

Warn­ings were is­sued over high lev­els of obe­sity

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