205580 Ethnic and Racial disparities in overweight and obesity related co-morbidities in Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:30 PM

Hong Zhang , School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA
Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio, PhD , School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA
Enrique Seoane-Vazquez, PhD , Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston, MA
INTRODUCTION: The obesity epidemic affects all racial/ethnic groups but it is particularly prevalent among minority populations. The objective of this study was to evaluate racial and ethnic disparities of overweight and obesity related co-morbidities in Massachusetts.

METHODS: Data for the analysis derived from the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the period 1998-2007. The BRFSS database contains self-reported data of non-institutionalized Massachusetts adults. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate the association between disparities variables and BMI. Disparities variables included race/ethnicity, region of residence, household income, and educational status. The regressions were adjusted for demographic and social variables (gender, age, marital status, employment status, and education) and behavioral variables (fruit and vegetable consumption, alcohol drinking, smoking, and physical activity). Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. Parameter estimates were obtained by maximum likelihood techniques and CIs were based on the standard error of model coefficients. Data were analyzed with SAS v9.0 statistical software to account for complex sample design.

RESULTS: In 1998, 35.7% of adults in Massachusetts were overweight, 10.3% obese and 3.9% morbidly obese. In 2007, 37.2% of adults were overweight, 14.1% obese and 7.6% morbidly obese. In 2007, 29.0% (CI 27.9-30.2) of women and 45.6% (CI 43.9-47.4) of men were overweight; and 12.5% (CI 11.6-13.3) of women and 15.9% (CI 14.7-17.1) of men were obese. Overweight/obesity estimates peaked at ages 5564 with 40.7% of the population overweight and 18.2% obese. Overall, 44.0% (CI 38.3-49.7) of Blacks were overweight, 15.7% (CI 12.0-19.4) obese, and 10.6% morbidly obese; compared with 40.1% (CI 35.4-44.8) of Hispanic overweight, 16.1% (CI 13.0-19.3) obese and 8.9% morbidly obese. Among Whites 36.8% (CI 35.7-37.9) were overweight, 14.5% (CI 13.7-15.3) obese and 7.4% morbidly obese. In 2007, the odds of being obese among Black and Hispanic were 1.5 times higher than among White. The odds of having diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension, were 3.2, 2.1 and 3.6 times higher respectively for obese than for normal weight individuals. Obesity increases 1.3 times the odds of having a heart attack and 1.7 times the odds of having a coronary heart disease.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of overweight/obesity in Massachusetts is increasing. Prevalence of obesity is highly associated with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and cardio-vascular diseases. There exist ethnic/racial disparities in prevalence of obesity and obesity related co-morbidities. Implementation of public health programs focusing interventions on racial/ethnic populations disproportionately affected remains critical.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the prevalence of obesity and obesity related co-morbidities Massachusetts in the period 1984-2007. Analyze demographics and health risk behaviors associated with overweight and obesity. Assess racial and ethnic disparities in overweight and obesity related co-morbidities. Evaluate the association between disparities variables and Body Max Index (BMI) while adjusting for demographic, social and behavioral covariates.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a faculty member at UMass, Amherst; Ethnic and racial disparities is one of my areas of research. I designed the study, conducted the analysis, analyzed the data and elaborated the conclusions and recommendations. Acknowledgments: This study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, University of Kentucky Public Health Systems Research initiative. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also provided financial support for conducting the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.