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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 Aug;19(8):1449-58. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2009.1652.

Excess weight and physical health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Author information

  • 1Ralph H. Johnson V.A. Medical Center and Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA. lynchcp@musc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Studies of weight and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) generally focus on white populations. This analysis examines the association between clinical weight categories and physical HRQOL in five racial/ethnic groups of older women and determines the extent to which emotional/psychological (social support, caregiver burden) and physical health (diabetes, osteoarthritis) factors modify this relationship.

METHODS:

The cross-sectional analysis, completed in 2007, used baseline data from postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) during the 5-year recruitment period (1993-1998).

RESULTS:

Of 161,393 women, 83% were non-Hispanic white, 9% were African American, 4% were Hispanic/Latina, 3% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and <1% were American Indian/Alaska Native. Obesity (body mass index [BMI] > or =30 kg/m(2)) was most common in non-Asian minority groups. Regression modeling showed higher odds of poor physical HRQOL with increasing weight category in all groups. In the total sample, these odds were at least 6 times as high in women with class 3 obesity as in women of normal weight and were only mildly attenuated after the analysis adjusted for emotional/psychological factors. Further adjustment for physical health factors made odds ratio (OR) estimates drop from 2.36 to 1.59 for class 1 obesity and from 6.96 to 3.71 for class 3 obesity. This pattern generally persisted within each racial/ethnic group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Heavier weight negatively affects physical HRQOL in postmenopausal women across diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. Weight-relevant physical health factors have a greater impact on this weight-HRQOL association than do emotional/psychological factors.

PMID:
20629574
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2941408
Free PMC Article
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