Underweight, overweight and obesity as risk factors for mortality and hospitalization

Centre for Epidemiology, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 1.83). 03/2008; 36(2):169-76. DOI: 10.1177/1403494807085080
Source: PubMed


The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in many countries. We aimed to investigate differences in mortality and severe morbidity between underweight people (body mass index (BMI)<18.5), overweight people (BMI 25 to <30), obese people (BMI> or =30), and those with normal weights (BMI 18.5 to <25).
Random samples of the Swedish population aged 16-74 years in 1980-81 and 1988-89 were followed for 12 years with regard to all-cause mortality and mortality from circulatory diseases, all inpatient care, and inpatient care for circulatory and musculoskeletal diseases. Relative risks (RRs) for different levels of BMI were adjusted for age, longstanding illness, smoking, and educational level at baseline. In addition, analyses were made with delayed entry until the fourth-year after interview.
Obesity and underweight, but not overweight, was associated with higher all-cause mortality. Among underweight men, the adjusted RR for all-cause mortality was 2.4 (95% confidence interval 1.6-3.6), and among underweight women it was 2.0 (1.5-2.7), but population attributable risks (PARs) were small, at 1.2% and 2.7%, respectively. Overweight was associated with increased risks for inpatient care for circulatory diseases, with PARs being 13.4% among men and 8.1% among women, and musculoskeletal diseases (PARs were 12.7% and 12.9%, respectively). Obese men and women had about 50% higher risks of all-cause mortality than normal-weight people, PARs being 3.2% and 3.8% respectively.
This study supports the findings of other studies, in that overweight seems to be an exaggerated risk factor for all-cause mortality, but is related to other chronic disease. Underweight and obesity generally implies greater increases of RRs, but avoidance of overweight may have greater effect on the population level with regard to reduced cardiovascular and locomotor disease.

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    • "As one could expect, the odds for being overweight or obese in the hospitalized adults were increased in those aged 40–59 years A study at an hospital in the USA have reported the highest mean BMI within the same age strata [15] and a Swedish study found obese patients to have increased risk of more acute hospital admissions and more bed days when they were in the same age strata [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Overweight, obesity and associated conditions are major public health concerns in Norway. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the general population in Norway is increasing, but there are limited data on how the situation is in hospitals. This study aimed to find the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and explore the associations of overweight, obesity and its related medical conditions in an adult in-patient sample at specified somatic and psychiatric departments at St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim. A total of 497 patients participated. The mean BMI for the total sample at screening was 25.4 kg/m2. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 45.1%. There was a higher association of overweight and obesity among patients aged 40-59 years (OR: 1.7) compared to those being younger. There was no significant difference between the somatic and the psychiatric samples. In the somatic sample overweight and obesity was associated with obesity-related conditions for both genders (OR: 2.0 and 2.1, respectively), when adjusted for age. The substantial prevalence of overweight and obese patients may pose a threat to future hospital services. To further address the burden of overweight and obesity in hospitals, we need more knowledge about consequences of length of stay, use of resources and overall cost.
    BMC Research Notes 02/2014; 7(1):115. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-7-115
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    • "The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity has become one of the most serious health risks in the modern world [8,14,15]. Overweight and obesity are mainly related to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, and type 2 diabetes but also to orthopaedic problems and cancers [6,14,47]. Previous studies have demonstrated a strong association between overweight and obesity and the use of primary and specialized care, hospitalizations and the use of emergency care [6,48], thus imposing large and increasing health care costs on society [5,49,50]. In our study, the strongest associations with health care utilization were found for weight problems. "
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption, smoking and weight problems are common risk factors for different health problems. We examine how these risk factors are associated with the use of health care services. Data for 6500 individuals in the 25--64 age group came from three cross-sectional postal surveys conducted in 2004, 2006, and 2008 in Estonia. The effect of alcohol consumption, smoking and weight problems on the use of primary and specialist care services, hospitalizations and ambulance calls was analysed separately for men and women by using binary logistic regression. Overweight and/or obesity were strongly related to the use of primary care and out-patient specialist services for both genders, and to hospitalizations and ambulance calls for women. Current smoking was related to ambulance calls for both genders, whereas smoking in the past was related to the use of primary care and specialist services among men and to hospitalizations among women. Beer drinking was negatively associated with all types of health care services and similar association was found between wine drinking and hospitalizations. Wine drinking was positively related to specialist visits. The frequent drinking of strong alcohol led to an increased risk for ambulance calls. Drinking light alcoholic drinks was positively associated with all types of health care services (except ambulance calls) among men and with the use of specialist services among women. Overweight and smoking had the largest impact on health care utilization in Estonia. Considering the high prevalence of these behavioural risk factors, health policies should prioritize preventive programs that promote healthy lifestyles in order to decrease the disease burden and to reduce health care costs.
    BMC Public Health 08/2013; 13(1):772. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-772 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Obesity is known to be an independent risk factor for CVDs [29,30]. Many studies found a positive association between obesity and CVD-related outcomes [11-13]. In this study cohort, both sexes presented a higher number of hospitalizations due to CVDs compared with the general population (SHRs approximately 3.5 in males and 2.5 in females). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The economic and social costs of obesity are estimated to be considerable, particularly for inpatient care. The aim of this study was to compare the hospitalization rates of individuals with severe (body mass index [BMI] ≥40 kg/m2) or complicated (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) obesity with those of the general population in two regions of Northwest Italy, and to describe absolute costs of hospitalization and their determinants. Methods Between 1996 and 2002, 6,516 patients who were admitted for the first time to a hospital offering a nutritional rehabilitation programme for obesity were enrolled and followed-up (mean follow-up time: 7.3 years). Standardized hospitalization rates (SHRs) were computed by sex for all-cause and cause-specific hospitalization. The general population of the two regions was used as the reference population. The annual cost of hospitalization was estimated for the study cohort only at the individual level, and its association with different determinants was assessed using a multivariable linear model for longitudinal data. Results SHRs of the study cohort versus the general population increased for all-cause hospitalization (males: 3.53, 95% CI 3.45-3.61; females: 3.22, 95% CI 3.18-3.26) as well as for most obesity-related conditions. The absolute median annual cost of hospitalization was 2,436 euros for males and 2,293 euros for females. Older age at cohort enrolment, BMI ≥40 kg/m2, waist circumference above the median (males: 1.26 metres; females: 1.13 metres), and the presence of co-morbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer, diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue, and mental disorders, significantly increased the absolute median annual costs of hospitalization. Conclusions The economic consequences of high hospitalization rates in obese individuals are relevant. Reducing the occurrence of co-morbidities among obese persons may be one important goal, not only for clinical reasons, but also from a public health point of view.
    BMC Public Health 06/2013; 13(1):544. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-544 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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