Objective: To estimate the association between body mass index (BMI) and health-related quality of life (HRQL) and examine whether joint pain and obesity-related comorbidities mediate the BMI-HRQL association. Research Methods and Procedures: Population-based survey data from the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. Adults (N = 155,989) were classified according to BMI as underweight (<18.5 kg/m2), desirable weight (18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25 to 29.9 kg/m2), obese class I (30 to 34.9 kg/m2), obese class II (35 to 39.9 kg/m2), and obese class III (≥40 kg/m2). Data including general health status, unhealthy days in the past 30 caused by physical problems and mental problems, and total unhealthy days in the past 30 were collected. Results: After adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, education, and income, we observed J-shaped associations between BMI and HRQL. Compared with desirable weight adults, underweight, overweight, and obesity classes I, II, and III adults [odds ratio (OR) = 1.57, 1.19, 1.95, 2.72, and 4.36, respectively] were significantly (p < 0.001) more likely to report fair/poor general health status. For unhealthy days caused by physical problems, the corresponding ORs were 1.51, 1.15, 1.66, 2.27, and 3.61 (p < 0.001). For unhealthy days caused by mental problems, the ORs were 1.35, 1.14 1.43, 1.57, and 2.25 (p < 0.001). For total unhealthy days, the corresponding ORs were 1.27, 1.09, 1.37, 1.73, and 2.46 (p < 0.01). Adding joint pain and obesity-related comorbidities into models attenuated BMI-HRQL associations. Discussion: Associations between BMI and HRQL indices were J-shaped. Joint pain and comorbidities may mediate BMI-HRQL associations.
- Health-related quality of life
- Joint pain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Food Science
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health