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Influence of adiposity on health-related quality of life in the Gateshead Millennium Study cohort: longitudinal study at 12 years


Objective To examine whether adiposity is associated with an impaired quality of life (an individual's perception of their life) in general population samples in early adolescence.

Design and methods Relationships between a direct measure of adiposity (fat mass index from bioimpedance) and a proxy measure (waist circumference), and a generic (KIDSCREEN-27) and a weight-specific measure of health-related quality of life (HRQoL, Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Kids (IWQOL-Kids)) were examined in a longitudinal population-based cohort of young adolescents aged 12 years (n=519). The effects of change in adiposity over time (from 7 years and 9 years) were also examined (n=331–445 in longitudinal analyses).

Results Impairment in HRQoL was associated with current adiposity but it was not predicted by earlier adiposity. At 12 years, higher adiposity was associated with lower Physical Well-Being on KIDSCREEN-27, and with lower Total Scores on the weight-specific IWQOL-Kids instrument, the latter particularly in girls.

Conclusions Health and education professionals need to be aware in their clinical practice that higher adiposity impairs HRQoL in general populations of young adolescents. Further research would be useful to determine whether or not children of primary school age self-reporting lower HRQoL are more likely to develop higher adiposity later in adolescence or early adulthood.

  • Adolescent
  • Quality of life
  • Overweight
  • Epidemiologic studies
  • Longitudinal studies

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