Extensive Phenotyping for Potential Weight-Inducing Factors in an Outpatient Population with Obesity

Mesut Savas, Vincent L. Wester, Jenny A. Visser, Lotte Kleinendorst, Bert van der Zwaag, Mieke M. van Haelst, Erica L. T. van den Akker, Elisabeth F. C. van Rossum

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Background: Obesity has been associated with miscellaneous weight-inducing determinants. A comprehensive assessment of known obesity-related factors other than diet and physical activity within one cohort is currently lacking. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of potential contributors to obesity and self-reported triggers for marked weight gain in an adult population with obesity and between obesity classes. Methods: In this observational cohort study, we assessed 408 persons with obesity (aged 41.3 ± 14.2 years, BMI 40.5 ± 6.2) visiting our obesity clinic. They were evaluated for use of weight-inducing drugs, hormonal abnormalities, menarcheal age, (high) birth weight, sleep deprivation, and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). We additionally assessed self-reported triggers for marked weight gain and performed genetic testing in patients suspected of genetic obesity. Results: Nearly half of the patients were using a potentially weight-inducing drug, which was also the most reported trigger for marked weight gain. For the assessed hormonal conditions, a relatively high prevalence was found for hypothyroidism (14.1%), polycystic ovary syndrome (12.0%), and male hypogonadism (41.7%). A relatively low average menarcheal age (12.6 ± 1.8 years) was reported, whereas there was a high prevalence of a high birth weight (19.5%). Sleep deprivation and OSAS were reported in, respectively, 14.5 and 13.7% of the examined patients. Obesity class appeared to have no influence on the majority of the assessed factors. Of the genetically analyzed patients, a definitive genetic diagnosis was made in 3 patients (1.9%). Conclusions: A thorough evaluation of patients with obesity yields a relatively high prevalence of various potentially weight-inducing factors. Diagnostic screening of patients with obesity could therefore benefit these patients by potentially reducing the social stigma and improving the outcomes of obesity treatment programs by tackling, where possible, the weight-inducing factors in advance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-384
JournalObesity Facts
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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