A new obesity-related disease classification system that appears to be medically actionable has been proposed in a new study. The study was published in a recent paper of the ‘Obesity journal.
The proposed disease classification system is based on the concept of Adiposity-Based Chronic Disease (ABCD). The diagnostic term reflects both the pathophysiology and clinical impact of obesity as a chronic disease.
The proposed coding system has four domains, pathophysiology, body mass index (BMI) classification, complications, and complication severity; and incorporates disease staging, specific complications that impact health, the basis for clinical intervention, individualised treatment goals, and a personalised medicine approach.
“The coding reflects ‘what we are treating’ and ‘why we are treating it’, and, hopefully, will provide impetus for greater access of patients to evidence-based treatments,” said the lead researcher W. Timothy Garvey.
The diagnosis of obesity is currently based only on BMI that conveys no indication of the impact of excess adiposity on a person’s health. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) code for obesity reads ‘obesity due to excess calories,’ which experts say is not medically meaningful and does not reflect obesity pathogenesis.
“These inadequacies contribute to lack of access of patients to evidence-based therapies and appreciation of obesity as a chronic disease,” said Garvey.The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) have both embraced the concept of ABCD.
“There is increasing recognition globally that BMI and other simple metrics of obesity do not accurately reflect the complexity of the disease or the circumstances of patients,” said another researcher Gema Fruhbeck.