Journal Article

Impact of Obesity on Medical Problems and Quality of Life in Taiwan

Wen-Ling Tsai, Chun-Yuh Yang, Sheng-Fung Lin and Fu-Min Fang

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 6, pages 557-565
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Impact of Obesity on Medical Problems and Quality of Life in Taiwan

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Little is known about the impact of obesity on medical problems and quality of life for people in the Asia-Pacific region. This January 2002–June 2003 cross-sectional study surveyed 6,318 Taiwanese (3,540 men and 2,778 women) visiting health screening centers in southern Taiwan. The authors used the body mass index classification endorsed by the World Health Organization for people in this region. Information was collected on 15 medical problems and quality of life outcomes, measured by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 questionnaire. After adjustment for age, lifestyle, and sociodemographic factors, and after comparison of subjects with those not overweight or obese (reference group), an increasing trend of body mass index effects based on this reference category was observed on hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, type II diabetes, hyperuricemia, pulmonary function impairment, fatty liver disease, and osteoarthritis in both sexes (p < 0.01). Concerning quality of life, an increasing trend of body mass index effects was also observed on the outcomes physical functioning and bodily pain for both sexes and role limitation due to physical problems for women (p < 0.05). Specifically, only the physical functioning domain, including daily activities such as climbing stairs, bending, walking, or some moderate activities, was significantly associated with obesity and was limited to class II obesity.

Keywords: body mass index; cross-sectional studies; gallstones; health; obesity; quality of life; Abbreviations: BMI, body mass index; QOL, quality of life; SD, standard deviation; SF-36, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36.

Journal Article.  6555 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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