Overweight and obesity are associated with higher morbidity and shorter life expectancy. However, the effect of body mass index (BMI) at middle age on subsequent quality of life is unknown.
In this study, physicians from Chicago, USA, assessed whether BMI in middle age is related to health-related quality of life in older age.
The team evaluated 6766 men and women aged between 36 and 64 years. Patients did not have diabetes mellitus or myocardial infarction at baseline.
The patients completed a 26-year follow-up health questionnaire when they were 65 years and older.
|The worst outcomes were for obese individuals.|
|Archives of Internal Medicine|
The team evaluated the relationship between baseline BMI and the questionnaire scores.
They found that, for both men and women, BMI had significant inverse-graded associations with all questionnaire scores.
Scores were highest (best) in normal-weight individuals and these decreased significantly with higher BMI. The worst outcomes were for obese individuals.
The physicians found that a higher percentage of normal-weight persons reported excellent or very good health compared with overweight and obese persons.
Dr Martha Daviglus's team concluded, "A higher BMI in middle age is associated with a poorer quality of life in older age".
"Preventive measures may lessen the burden of disease and impaired quality of life associated with excess weight".