How Does Obesity and Intentional Weight Loss Impact Health Related Quality of Life in Adults?

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Holly Kirkland-Kyhn, PhD, MSN, BSN
Wound Care NP, University of California Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, CA, USA

Purpose: Over the past 30 years, the percentage of older adults who are obese has doubled; the most recent CDC data indicates that adults age 60 and over were more likely to be obese than were younger adults. The number of chronic health conditions associated with obesity increases with increasing body mass index (BMI) and in association with aging. Obesity-related chronic health conditions and their associated physical function–mobility limitations are the leading cause of diminished personal independence and diminished health related quality of life (HRQOL) for older adults. The aim of this study was to identify associations of BMI, gender, age and HRQOL with mental component summary (MCS) scores and physical component summary (PCS) scores, among adults with obesity who areenrolled in an intensive weight loss program, and at Week 17, after the intensive weight loss.

Methods: Six hundred and forty five participants (age: 18–79 years) completed the demographic data and HRQOL surveys at their first visit (baseline) and at Week 17 of an intensive weight loss program. The short form (SF–36) was used to measure the HRQOL for physical component summary (PCS), mental component summary (MCS), BMI, weight loss, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured for between-group and between-gender comparisons. Further analysis was performed to evaluate Week 1–Week 17 outcomes and differences.

Results: From Week 1 to Week 17, all of the study participants lost weight. Average weight loss was approximately 47 pounds (21.36 kg) per person, or an average weight loss of 17% from baseline weight. BMI and the week in the program were statistically significant contributors to the PCS score. Participation in the program for 17 weeks was associated with an increase in the PCS score by 0.34% (p = .000) [sr2 = .0724, p = .000] , and lowering the SBP increases the PCS score by 0.087% (p = .000) [sr2 = .0166, p= .000], and as SBP increases, the PCS score decreases. In other words, the SBP and the PCS score during linear regression or were inversely related.

Conclusion: Obesity and in turn weight loss are associated with HRQOL. This study is one of the few to explore the gender and age differences (to include patients with multiple chronic health conditions) in the HRQOL of individuals with obesity. The SF–36 is a self-rated measure of health; the instrument’s scores are influenced by the respondent’s perceptions, expectations, and interpretations regarding their health. This study provides comprehensive data that elucidate how obesity and intentional weight loss affect self-rated physical and mental health in younger and older adults; this information is pertinent to people who may or may not have chronic health conditions. The study found that, as an individual became older, their MCS scores tended to improve. In this study, females with obesity tended to have a lower MCS score than did males with obesity, and that PCS scores increase as weight and BMI decrease.