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Morbid Obesity Information on Related Health Concerns

Studies show that between 30 and 35 percent of American adults — and 28.5 percent of Pennsylvanians — are obese.

Characterized by excessive body fat, morbid obesity increases your risk of developing a range of health problems.

What is Morbid Obesity?

Morbidly obese means you weigh 100 pounds or more than your ideal weight and experience one or more of the following obesity-related health conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Sleep apnea

Morbid obesity also increases your risk of developing other health and medical problems such as:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery or heart disease
  • Depression

Morbid Obesity and Organ Damage

Diseases and health problems associated with morbid obesity often lead to significant and permanent damage to one or more organ systems.

Obesity-related Disease Commonly Affected Organs
Diabetes and high blood pressure Kidneys
Sleep apnea Lungs
Arthritis and stress Bones and joints
Congestive heart failure or coronary artery disease Heart

Although medical problems increase the risk of any major surgical procedure, including bariatric surgery, they also strengthen the need for weight loss. Significant medical problems require careful consideration, but do not necessarily rule out the possibility of surgery.

Your bariatric surgeon will discuss the risks and complications of weight loss surgery and help you decide if it's the best option for you.

Want to Know More About Bariatric Surgery at UPMC?

If you're considering surgery, attend one of UPMC's free bariatric surgery information session to:

Or, check out our Bariatric Surgery Webcast: Taking the First Step Toward Improved Health.​​

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |