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Eur J Epidemiol. 2007;22(10):685-90. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Widening of a social gradient in obesity risk? German national health surveys 1990 and 1998.

Author information

1
Institute of Biometrics and Epidemiology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Institute at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Auf'm Hennekamp 65, 40225, Dusseldorf, Germany. icks@ddz.uni-duesseldorf.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Whether differences in obesity prevalences across social status levels have widened remains controversial.

METHODS:

We used German national health surveys (1990-1992 and 1998, n = 7,466 and 5,583, age 25-69 years) to estimate obesity prevalences and its associations with calendar year, age (25-39, 40-60, and 61-69), and educational level (low, middle, and high), as well as an interaction term (year x educational level) in men and women. We used multiple regression models, considering the sample design.

RESULTS:

Obesity prevalence in 1990 and 1998 was 18.1 (95% CI 16.5-19.7) and 19.9 (18.2-21.6) in men and 20.9 (19.2-22.6) and 21.6 (19.3-23.7) in women, with statistically significantly higher prevalences in higher age and lower education. A statistically significant increase of obesity prevalence was present only in men after adjustment for age and education. The increase seems to be highest in high-educated subjects. However, interaction was not statistically significant, except in middle compared to high-educated men (OR 0.67; 0.47-0.96).

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity prevalence increased only moderately in Germany between 1990-1992 and 1998. There was a tendency of reduction of the social gradient in obesity instead of a widening.

PMID:
17674126
DOI:
10.1007/s10654-007-9170-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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