We analyze medical device markets and, by natural extention, markets encompassing devices or simply competing with them. We identify a specific disease or disorder, characterize its patient population, current and emerging trends in treatment and then characterize the markets for the products used. We may alternatively focus on an organ system (e.g., ophthalmology or a set of technologies (e.g., tissue engineering) or a related set of technologies applied to a clinical area (e.g., orthopedic biomaterials). All relatively specific.
That is why the subject of [tag]obesity[/tag] stands out, because for so many reasons it is quite unspecific and, as a result, has many implications.
Obesity has a simple definition from the Dept of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, and that is a [tag]body mass index[/tag] (BMI) of 30% or greater. Morbid obesity is further defined as a BMI of 40% or greater or 35% or greater if also accompanied by two or more co-morbidities. As precisely as this is defined in quantitative terms, obesity becomes important for considerations that are more general which, as we have alluded to, is the co-morbidities.
In our report on obesity, we note the co-morbidities of obesity, those occurences of ill health that accompany obesity and, in their own right, often are associated with high healthcare costs and other challenges to society:
- [tag]Heart disease[/tag]
- [tag]Cancer[/tag] of the breast, gallbladder, cervix, uterus, ovaries (for women), and of colon, rectum and prostate (for men)
- Gallstones or gallbladder disease
- Gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid)
- Breathing problems such as sleep apnea, and aggravation of asthma
- High levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides
- complications of [tag]pregnancy[/tag]
- irregular menstrual cycles and [tag]infertility[/tag]
- psychological and social effects, such as depression, isolation, discrimination, lower earning power
From “Worldwide Management of Obesity, 2007-2015.” September 2007. MedMarket Diligence, LLC
With this many tentacles, obesity is therefore a virulent problem.
Despite popular conceptions, there is much that is yet to be understood about obesity, how and why it variably arises, and how it can be prevented. These are important questions, since any significant answers might have dramatic affect on the disease and its costly repercussions. But knowledge of the pathogenesis is not needed to address its manifestation and growth in the worldwide population. Drugs, devices, surgery or other intervention is often imperative for patients who not only have one or more of the complications noted above, but also have those complications compounded by a condition that seriously challenges treatment options.