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The Relationship of Excess Body Weight and Health-Related Quality of Life: Evidence from a Population Study in Taiwan

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The relationship of excess body weight and health-related quality of life: evidence from a population study in Taiwan
I-C Huang, C Frangakis, and AW Wu
Abstract
Objective: Excess body weight is related to significant morbidity and mortality. However, less is known about the relationship of body weight to health-related quality of life (HRQOL), especially for Asian populations. We examined the relationship of excess weight and HRQOL in a general population sample from Taiwan.
Research methods and procedures: This cross-sectional study used a national representative sample (n=14221) from the 2001 Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. Body weight was categorized using body mass index (BMI in kg/m2) as normal
(18.5–24.9), overweight (25–29.9), and obese (>=30). HRQOL was measured using the Taiwan version of the SF-36. We compared the body weight–HRQOL relationships by age, gender, and status of chronic condition, respectively. We especially used the Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) to examine the relationships of BMI and HRQOL by taking into account the correlations of HRQOL within households. Four models were developed to adjust sequentially for sets of covariates: Model 1 with no adjustment; Model 2 adjusting for socio-demographic variables; Model 3 adding chronic conditions; Model 4 further adding smoking status.
Results: Unadjusted physical HRQOL was best for normal weight, worse for overweight, and worst for obese individuals. For unadjusted mental HRQOL, overweight subjects had at least as good mental domain scores of HRQOL as those with normal weight or obesity, depending on the subscales. As age increased, excess weight was associated with worse physical, but not mental HRQOL. Compared to men, women with excess weight showed a greater deficit in physical HRQOL. Multivariable analyses suggested that obesity was associated with worse physical HRQOL...

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