Obesity and the risk of developing chronic diseases in middle-aged and older adults: Findings from an Australian longitudinal population survey, 2009–2017

Keramat, Syed Afroz and Alam, Khorshed ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2232-0745 and Rana, Rezwanul Hasan and Chowdhury, Rupok and Farjana, Fariha and Hashmi, Rubayyat ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5953-0650 and Gow, Jeff ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5726-298X and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7663-6895 (2021) Obesity and the risk of developing chronic diseases in middle-aged and older adults: Findings from an Australian longitudinal population survey, 2009–2017. PLoS One, 16 (11):e0260158. pp. 1-16.

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Background: Overweight and obesity impose a significant health burden in Australia, predominantly the middle-aged and older adults. Studies of the association between obesity and chronic diseases are primarily based on cross-sectional data, which is insufficient to deduce a temporal relationship. Using nationally representative panel data, this study aims to investigate whether obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, asthma, arthritis, and depression in Australian middle-aged and older adults. Methods: Longitudinal data comprising three waves (waves 9, 13 and 17) of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey were used in this study. This study fitted longitudinal random-effect logistic regression models to estimate the between-person differences in the association between obesity and chronic diseases. Results: The findings indicated that obesity was associated with a higher prevalence of chronic diseases among Australian middle-aged and older adults. Obese adults (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 30) were at 12.76, 2.05, 1.97, 2.25, and 1.96, times of higher risks of having type 2 diabetes (OR: 12.76, CI 95%: 8.88-18.36), heart disease (OR: 2.05, CI 95%: 1.54-2.74), asthma (OR: 1.97, CI 95%: 1.49-2.62), arthritis (OR: 2.25, 95% CI: 1.90-2.68) and depression (OR: 1.96, CI 95%: 1.56-2.48), respectively, compared with healthy weight counterparts. However, the study did not find any evidence of a statistically significant association between obesity and cancer. Besides, gender stratified regression results showed that obesity is associated with a higher likelihood of asthma (OR: 2.64, 95% CI: 1.84-3.80) among female adults, but not in the case of male adults. Conclusion: Excessive weight is strongly associated with a higher incidence of chronic disease in Australian middle-aged and older adults. This finding has clear public health implications. Health promotion programs and strategies would be helpful to meet the challenge of excessive weight gain and thus contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2021 Keramat et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Business (18 Jan 2021 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2022 03:46
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2022 03:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: adult; aged; arthritis; Article; asthma; Australian; body mass; chronic disease; depression; female; heart disease; human; major clinical study; male; malignant neoplasm; middle aged; non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus; obesity; population research; risk factor; sex difference
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140304 Panel Data Analysis
Fields of Research (2020): 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380108 Health economics
38 ECONOMICS > 3802 Econometrics > 380204 Panel data analysis
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200502 Health related to ageing
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260158
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/45091

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