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Obesity in Germany and Italy: prevalence, comorbidities, and associations with patient outcomes

Authors DiBonaventura M, Nicolucci A, Meincke H, Le Lay A, Fournier J

Received 27 November 2017

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 24 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 457—475


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Xing Lin Feng

Marco DiBonaventura,1 Antonio Nicolucci,2 Henrik Meincke,3 Agathe Le Lay,3 Janine Fournier4

1Kantar Health, Health Outcomes Practice, New York, NY, USA; 2Center for Outcomes Research and Clinical Epidemiology, Pescara, Italy; 3Novo Nordisk A/S, Soeborg, Denmark; 4Novo Nordisk, Plainsboro, NJ, USA

Purpose: This study investigated the association between body mass index (BMI) and three comorbid conditions (type 2 diabetes [T2D], prediabetes, and hypertension) on humanistic and economic outcomes.
Patients and methods: This retrospective observational study collected data from German (n=14286) and Italian (n=9433) respondents to the 2013 European Union National Health and Wellness Survey, a cross-sectional, nationally representative online survey of the general adult population. Respondents were grouped, based on their self-reported BMI, and stratified into three other comorbid conditions (T2D, prediabetes, and hypertension). Generalized linear models, controlling for demographics and health characteristics, tested the relationship between BMI and health status, work productivity loss, and health care resource utilization. Indirect and direct costs were calculated based on overall work productivity loss and health care resource utilization, respectively. The same generalized linear models were also performed separately for those with T2D, prediabetes, and hypertension.
Results: The sample of German respondents was 50.16% male, with a mean age of 46.68 years (SD =16.05); 35.24% were classified as overweight and 21.29% were obese. In Italy, the sample was 48.34% male, with a mean age of 49.27 years (SD =15.75); 34.85% were classified as overweight, and 12.89% were obese. Multivariable analyses demonstrated that, in both countries, higher BMI was associated with worse humanistic outcomes and only those from Germany also reported greater direct and indirect costs. Differences in the impact of BMI on outcomes by country were additionally found when the sample was stratified into those with prediabetes, T2D, and hypertension.
Conclusion: The high percentage of patients who are overweight or obese in Germany and Italy remains problematic. Better elucidating the impact of overweight or obese BMI, as well as the incremental effects of relevant comorbid conditions, on humanistic and economic outcomes is critical to quantify the multifaceted burden on individuals and society.

Keywords: body mass index, costs, health care resource utilization, health status, work productivity loss, weight loss

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