Excess weight can lead to fluid backup called lymphedemaThe health risks associated with being overweight and obese are well publicized, but new research may add another condition to this list: leg lymphedema, pain and swelling due to blockage of the lymph nodes in the groin area.
Lymphedema in the arms traditionally is associated with breast cancer surgery that involves removal of or damage to the lymph nodes. A blockage in the lymphatic system can prevent proper drainage of lymph fluid. As fluid builds up, pain and swelling can occur.
In a letter published in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Arin Greene and colleagues at Children's Hospital Boston reported on 15 obese individuals with swelling in both legs. They diagnosed five of these individuals with leg lymphedema, and the cause of the condition was obesity.
"We now believe that obesity is a risk factor for lymphedema if the body-mass index becomes greater than 60," Greene said. "It only seems to affect the legs, but we have not investigated theRead More »from Obesity May Raise Odds for Painful Leg Condition