Obesity and associated lifestyle in a large sample of multi-morbid German primary care attendees

  • Background: Obesity and the accompanying increased morbidity and mortality risk is highly prevalent among older adults. As obese elderly might benefit from intentional weight reduction, it is necessary to determine associated and potentially modifiable factors on senior obesity. This cross-sectional study focuses on multi-morbid patients which make up the majority in primary care. It reports on the prevalence of senior obesity and its associations with lifestyle behaviors. Methods: A total of 3,189 non-demented, multi-morbid participants aged 65–85 years were recruited in primary care within the German MultiCare-study. Physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and quantity and quality of nutritional intake were classified as relevant lifestyle factors. Body Mass Index (BMI, general obesity) and waist circumference (WC, abdominal obesity) were used as outcome measures and regression analyses were conducted. Results: About one third of all patients were classified as obese according to BMI. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 73.5%. Adjusted for socio-demographic variables and objective and subjective disease burden, participants with low physical activity had a 1.6 kg/m2 higher BMI as well as a higher WC (4.9 cm, p<0.001). Current smoking and high alcohol consumption were associated with a lower BMI and WC. In multivariate logistic regression, using elevated WC and BMI as categorical outcomes, the same pattern in lifestyle factors was observed. Only for WC, not current but former smoking was associated with a higher probability for elevated WC. Dietary intake in quantity and quality was not associated with BMI or WC in either model. Conclusions: Further research is needed to clarify if the huge prevalence discrepancy between BMI and WC also reflects a difference in obesity-related morbidity and mortality. Yet, age-specific thresholds for the BMI are needed likewise. Encouraging and promoting physical activity in older adults might a starting point for weight reduction efforts.

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Author:Claudia Sikorski, Melanie Luppa, Siegfried Weyerer, Hans-Helmut König, Wolfgang Maier, Gerhard Schön, Juliana Petersen, Jochen GensichenORCiDGND, Angela Fuchs, Horst Bickel, Birgitt Wiese, Heike Hansen, Hendrik van den Bussche, Martin Scherer, Steffi Gerlinde Riedel-Heller
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25036102
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2014/07/18
Date of first Publication:2014/07/18
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2014/07/30
Page Number:8
Copyright: © 2014 Sikorski et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0