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Body mass index and health-related quality of life among young Swiss men


Dey, Michelle; Gmel, Gerhard; Mohler-Kuo, Meichun (2013). Body mass index and health-related quality of life among young Swiss men. BMC Public Health, 13:1028.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies about the association between body mass index (BMI) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are often limited, because they 1) did not include a broad range of health-risk behaviors as covariates; 2) relied on clinical samples, which might lead to biased results; and 3) did not incorporate underweight individuals. Hence, this study aims to examine associations between BMI (from being underweight through obesity) and HRQOL in a population-based sample, while considering multiple health-risk behaviors (low physical activity, risky alcohol consumption, daily cigarette smoking, frequent cannabis use) as well as socio-demographic characteristics.
METHODS: A total of 5 387 young Swiss men (mean age = 19.99; standard deviation = 1.24) of a cross-sectional population-based study were included. BMI was calculated (kg/m2) based on self-reported height and weight and divided into 'underweight' (<18.5), 'normal weight' (18.5-24.9), 'overweight' (25.0-29.9) and 'obese' (>=30.0). Mental and physical HRQOL was assessed via the SF-12v2. Self-reported information on physical activity, substance use (alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis) and socio-demographic characteristics also was collected. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the associations between BMI categories and below average mental or physical HRQOL. Substance use variables and socio-demographic variables were used as covariates.
RESULTS: Altogether, 76.3 % were normal weight, whereas 3.3 % were underweight, 16.5 % overweight and 3.9 % obese. Being overweight or obese was associated with reduced physical HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 1.58 [1.18-2.13] and 2.45 [1.57-3.83], respectively), whereas being underweight predicted reduced mental HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 1.49 [1.08-2.05]). Surprisingly, obesity decreased the likelihood of experiencing below average mental HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 0.66 [0.46-0.94]). Besides BMI, expressed as a categorical variable, all health-risk behaviors and socio-demographic variables were associated with reduced physical and/or mental HRQOL.
CONCLUSIONS: Deviations from normal weight are, even after controlling for important health-risk behaviors and socio-demographic characteristics, associated with compromised physical or mental HRQOL among young men. Hence, preventive programs should aim to preserve or re-establish normal weight. The self-appraised positive mental well-being of obese men noted here, which possibly reflects a response shift, might complicate such efforts.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies about the association between body mass index (BMI) and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are often limited, because they 1) did not include a broad range of health-risk behaviors as covariates; 2) relied on clinical samples, which might lead to biased results; and 3) did not incorporate underweight individuals. Hence, this study aims to examine associations between BMI (from being underweight through obesity) and HRQOL in a population-based sample, while considering multiple health-risk behaviors (low physical activity, risky alcohol consumption, daily cigarette smoking, frequent cannabis use) as well as socio-demographic characteristics.
METHODS: A total of 5 387 young Swiss men (mean age = 19.99; standard deviation = 1.24) of a cross-sectional population-based study were included. BMI was calculated (kg/m2) based on self-reported height and weight and divided into 'underweight' (<18.5), 'normal weight' (18.5-24.9), 'overweight' (25.0-29.9) and 'obese' (>=30.0). Mental and physical HRQOL was assessed via the SF-12v2. Self-reported information on physical activity, substance use (alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis) and socio-demographic characteristics also was collected. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the associations between BMI categories and below average mental or physical HRQOL. Substance use variables and socio-demographic variables were used as covariates.
RESULTS: Altogether, 76.3 % were normal weight, whereas 3.3 % were underweight, 16.5 % overweight and 3.9 % obese. Being overweight or obese was associated with reduced physical HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 1.58 [1.18-2.13] and 2.45 [1.57-3.83], respectively), whereas being underweight predicted reduced mental HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 1.49 [1.08-2.05]). Surprisingly, obesity decreased the likelihood of experiencing below average mental HRQOL (adjusted OR [95 % CI] = 0.66 [0.46-0.94]). Besides BMI, expressed as a categorical variable, all health-risk behaviors and socio-demographic variables were associated with reduced physical and/or mental HRQOL.
CONCLUSIONS: Deviations from normal weight are, even after controlling for important health-risk behaviors and socio-demographic characteristics, associated with compromised physical or mental HRQOL among young men. Hence, preventive programs should aim to preserve or re-establish normal weight. The self-appraised positive mental well-being of obese men noted here, which possibly reflects a response shift, might complicate such efforts.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:20 Jan 2014 14:31
Last Modified:08 Nov 2016 14:12
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-1028
PubMed ID:24172041

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