The Impact of Long-Term Body Mass Index Patterns on Health-Related Quality: The Doetinchem Cohort Study

E.L. de Hollander, H.S.J. Picavet, I.E.J. Milder, W.M.M. Verschuren, W.J.E. Bemelmans, C.P.G.M. de Groot

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Overweight is associated with a reduced health-related quality of life (QOL), but less is known about the impact of long-term body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight (kg)/height (m)2) patterns on QOL in adults. In the Dutch Doetinchem Cohort Study (1989–2009) that included 1,677 men and 1,731 women aged 20–66 years, 6 BMI patterns were defined by using 4 measurements over a 15-year period: 1) persistent healthy weight (18.5–24.9, reference pattern); 2) persistent overweight (25.0–29.9); 3) persistent obesity (=30.0); 4) developing overweight; 5) developing obesity; and 6) switching between BMI categories. For each BMI pattern, adjusted QOL (measured on a 0–100 scale) was estimated at the end of this period. The lowest QOL was observed for persistent obesity of all BMI patterns. It was 5.0 points (P = 0.02) lower for 1 mental dimension in men and 6.2–11.6 points (P <0.05) lower for 5 (mainly physical) dimensions in women. Developing overweight or obesity scored 1.8–6.3 points (P <0.05) lower on 2–5 (mainly physical) dimensions. Persistent overweight hardly differed from a persistent healthy weight. In women, switching between BMI categories resulted in a lower QOL on the mental dimensions. Studying long-term BMI patterns over a 15-year period showed that persistent obesity, developing overweight, and developing obesity resulted in a lower QOL—particularly on the physical dimensions—compared with a persistent healthy weight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-812
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • weight change
  • physical-activity
  • whitehall ii
  • obesity
  • population
  • mortality
  • adults
  • us
  • women
  • predictors

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