NU Online News Service, Aug. 19, 2004, 4:27 p.m. EDT

Obesity has a huge effect on disability claims for some chronic health conditions, according to UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn.[@@]

Although obesity is associated with an increase of just 17% in cardiovascular disease, it is associated with a 46% increase in back disorders, a 63% increase in cancer and a 78% increase in serious, general musculoskeletal disorders, UnumProvident says.

Obesity is linked to a 100% increase in diabetes and blood pressure, and UnumProvident notes that obese insureds are about 40 times more likely than other insureds to file claims involving “subjective” conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.