Pickwickian syndrome

Pickwickian syndrome

noun Pathology.
an abnormality characterized by extreme obesity accompanied by sleepiness, hypoventilation, and polycythemia.
Also, Pickwick syndrome.


Origin:
1955–60; named for Joe, a character in Dickens' The Pickwick Papers who exhibited symptoms of the disorder

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pickwickian syndrome pick·wick·i·an syndrome (pĭk-wĭk'ē-ən)
n.
A syndrome characterized by extreme obesity, hypoventilation, and general debility.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

pickwickian syndrome

a complex of respiratory and circulatory symptoms associated with extreme obesity. The name originates from the fat boy depicted in Charles Dickens's The Pickwick Papers, who showed some of the same traits. (By some definitions, to be obese is to exceed one's ideal weight by 20 percent or more; an extremely obese person would exceed the optimum weight by a much larger percentage.) This condition often occurs in association with sleep apnea, which is another common complication of obesity.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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