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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 34(4); 2001 > Article
Original Article Increasing Prevalence of Obesity Related Disease for Koreans Associated with Overweight and Obesity.
Nam Soon Kim, Ok Ryun Moon, Jae Heon Kang, Sang Yi Lee, Baek Geun Jeong, Sin Jae Lee, Tae Ho Yoon, Kyung Hwa Hwang
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2001;34(4):309-315
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1Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.
2Department of Family Medicine, Inje University, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Korea.
3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Cheju National University, Korea.

To develop a better understanding of the relationship between weight status and the prevalence of obesity related diseases in the Korean population. METHODS: The 1998 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey was used and 10,880 persons who had previously taken health examinations were selected for study. The Korean Society for the Study of Obesity's classification of weight status was used. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, osteoarthritis, chronic heart disease, stroke were included as obesity related disease. A logistic regression model was developed to estimate the prevalence odds ratio by obesity class adjusted for demographic and socio-economic factors and we converted the odds ratio to a prevalence ratio using the base line prevalence of disease to aid in the interpretation of the ratios. RESULTS: The prevalence of obesity was 26.3% based on the KSSO classification (BMI> or =25). A graded increase in the prevalence ratio was observed with increasing severity of overweight and obesity for all health outcomes with the exception of chronic heart disease in men and stroke in both men and women. With normal weight individuals as the reference, for men who were younger than 50 years, the prevalence ratios were highest for hypertension BMI<23-25: 1.70(95% CI=1.41-2.05), 25 or =30: 4.83(95% CI=3.78-5.84). The prevalence ratios for dyslipidemia were as high as hypertension, but were lower than hypertension for diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis. Prevalence ratios generally were greater in younger adults. The prevalence of having 2 or more obesity related diseases increased with weight status category, except in people who were older than 50 years. CONCLUSIONS: Based on results, obesity is an increasingly important health problem in Korea and the disease burden increases according to weight status. For Korean adults, the strongest relationship was seen between weight status and hypertension and dyslipidemia. In older people the impact of excess weight and obesity is stronger than that seen in younger people. Increased efforts in the study of obesity and prevention and treatment of obesity and obesity related disease are required.

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