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Heart attacks, strokes and other major health events play key role in driving older Americans with obesity to address their weight
New data show need for healthcare improvements for older Americans with obesity

AUSTIN, Texas, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A statistically significant greater proportion of older people with obesity (PwO) (16%) than younger ones (12%) reported that a specific medical event such as a heart attack or stroke greatly influenced their desire to manage their weight, according to new data from the Awareness, Care and Treatment In Obesity Management (ACTION) Study. These health event motivators may have led to a vigilant weight loss effort among older PwO study participants, who experienced greater success than younger ones (13%:9% respectively). The new data, which compare attitudes and behaviors of obesity management between PwO who are 65+ versus PwO who are 64 and younger, were presented today at the 26th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.1

According to study co-author and ACTION steering committee member Angela Golden, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, the research could be instrumental in helping health care practitioners (HCPs) better understand the need to "flip" this trend, to ensure that PwO get the help they need before a health crisis.

"Obesity is linked to more than 230 other medical conditions, often more prevalent in the older generation," she said. "We know that even a 5% to 10% weight loss may significantly reduce health risks associated with obesity, so there is a pressing need for the health care community to focus on ensuring early and comprehensive access to obesity care. Collaboration between people with obesity and HCPs is a key part of the solution for addressing and treating this chronic, progressive disease and improving health outcomes."

According to Golden, this will require PwO, especially older ones, and HCPs to shift the dialogue in the medical setting. Study findings show that currently, of those PwO who discussed their weight with HCPs, a lesser proportion (56%) of older PwO report that they "seek support" from their HCP for weight loss as compared with younger PwO (65%).

Additionally, fewer older PwO (50%) reported having received a "formal diagnosis" of obesity as compared with younger PwO (56%).1

These findings held true despite older PwO reporting greater prevalence of obesity-related conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and sleep apnea (variable by condition, as much as twice the prevalence as the younger group).1

The ACTION Study was a cross-sectional U.S.-based study, conducted through online surveys, included over 3,000 adults with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 based on self-reported height and weight), of which 946 or 31% were 65 or older.

The "Awareness, Care and Treatment In Obesity Management" (ACTION) study is the first U.S. nationwide study to investigate barriers to obesity management from the perspective of people with obesity, health care professionals and employers. In addition, the study aims to generate insights to guide collaborative action to improve obesity care, education and support. Sponsored by Novo Nordisk, the ACTION study was led by a multi-disciplinary steering committee comprised of representatives from The Obesity Society, the Obesity Action Coalition, and the Integrated Benefits Institute, as well as obesity experts in the fields of primary care, endocrinology, physiology and nursing. The study involved more than 3,000 people with obesity, 600 health care professionals, and 150 employers in the United States. To learn more about the study, please visit www.ACTIONStudy.com.

About obesity
Obesity is a chronic disease requiring long-term management.2 Complex and multifactorial in nature, obesity is influenced by genetic, physiological, environmental and psychological factors and is associated with many serious health consequences.3,4 

The global increase in the prevalence of obesity is a public health issue that has severe cost implications to health care systems.5,6 In the United States, approximately 35% of adults, or nearly 79 million adults, live with obesity.7 Despite the high prevalence of obesity, many people with obesity lack support in their efforts to lose weight and the disease remains substantially underdiagnosed and underreported.8

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people with other serious chronic conditions: hemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. With U.S. headquarters in Plainsboro, N.J., Novo Nordisk Inc. has nearly 5,000 employees in the United States. For more information, visit novonordisk.us or follow us on Twitter: @novonordiskus.


1 Look M, Golden A, Kyle T, et al. Insights and Perceptions of Obesity Management in Older People with Obesity: Results of National Study. Poster presentation presented at: AACE 2017; May 3-7, 2017; Austin, TX.
2 American Medical Association. Business of the American Medical Association House of Delegates 2013 Annual Meeting annotated reference committee reports: reference committee D. http://www.ama-assn.org/assets/meeting/2013a/a13-addendum-refcomm-d.pdf. Approved June 8, 2014. Accessed October 11, 2016.
3 Wright SM, Aronne LJ. Causes of obesity. Abdom Imaging. 2012;37(5):730-732.
4 Guh DP, Zhang W, Bansback N, et al. The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2009;9(88):1-20.
5 World Health Organization. Fact sheet no. 311: obesity and overweight. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/. Updated June 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016.
6 Cawley J, Meyerhoefer C. The medical care costs of obesity: an instrumental variables approach. J Health Economics. 2012;31(1):219-230.
7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adult obesity facts. http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html. Updated September 1, 2016. Accessed October 11, 2016.
8 Crawford AG, Cote C, Couto J, et al. Prevalence of Obesity, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperlipidemia, and Hypertension in the United States: Findings from the GE Centricity Electronic Medical Record Database. Popul Health Manag. 2010;13:151–161.

Novo Nordisk is registered trademark of Novo Nordisk A/S.
© 2017 Novo Nordisk   All rights reserved.   USA17SAM01030   May 2017



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