Associations between MHO and Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and respiratory illnesses were reviewed.
Participants were classified as metabolically healthy non-obese (MHN), metabolically healthy obese (MHO), metabolically unhealthy non-obese (MUN), and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO) based on metabolic and obesity status.
Results showed that the MHO group was just over four times as likely to have Type 2 diabetes and 18% more likely to have a stroke or heart attack than the MHN group. Participants with MHO also had a 76% greater heart failure risk and had 28% greater chances of having a respiratory disease than MHN participants. MHO group members also had a 19% greater likelihood of having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
Additionally, the MHO group was 28% more likely to have heart failure than the MUN group.
“People with metabolically healthy obesity are not ‘healthy’ as they are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke, heart failure, and respiratory diseases compared with people without obesity who have a normal metabolic profile,” researchers concluded.
“Weight management could be beneficial to all people with obesity irrespective of their metabolic profile. The term ‘metabolically healthy obesity’ should be avoided in clinical medicine as it is misleading, and different strategies for defining risk should be explored.”