The association between obesity and health-related quality of life among urban latinos

Karolyn A. Wanat, Carrie L. Kovarik, Sara Shuman, Robert C. Whitaker, Gary D. Foster, Matthew J. O'Brien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To examine differences in health-related quality of life (HRQL) by obesity status in a community-based sample of urban Latinos. To determine if sex moderates the relationship between HRQL and obesity status in this cohort. Design, Setting and Participants: Cross-sectional study of 202 foreign-born Latinos with low levels of acculturation, living in an urban setting. Main outcome measure: Health-related quality of life by the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Methods: Including the entire study cohort, t-tests were used to determine the unadjusted difference between obese and non-obese participants on SF-12 physical and mental functioning scores (PCS and MCS, respectively). Linear regression was used to estimate the adjusted difference in SF-12 scores between obese and non-obese participants after adjusting for potential confounders. The association between obesity status and HRQL summary scores were then assessed separately in men and women both with and without adjustment for potential confounders. Results: There was a small but statistically significant unadjusted difference between obese and non-obese participants in the physical functioning domain of HRQL (-2.2, 95% CI -4.0, -.4), which was no longer significant in multivariate analysis (difference -1.5, 95% CI -3.3, .3). There were no significant differences in mental functioning scores in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. Sex did not moderate the relationship between obesity status and HRQL scores in stratified analyses. Conclusions: Our results in an under-studied population suggest that obesity may have little impact on HRQL in urban Latinos. Future studies with larger and more diverse Latino populations are needed to further investigate the relationship between obesity and HRQL, and explore how acculturation impacts the association between these two factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume24
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Latino health
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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