270175 Body mass index and symptoms and quality of life indicators of individuals aging with disabilities

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 1:18 PM - 1:30 PM

Rana Salem, MA , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kurt L. Johnson, PhD , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Dagmar Amtmann, PhD , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Introduction: People with disabilities (PWD) may find it more difficult to eat a healthy diet, control their weight, and be physically active. Health risks of obesity for PWD are well known, but the effects of obesity on secondary conditions and QoL has not been well established. Methods: PROMIS measures of fatigue, pain interference, physical and social function, depression, and sleep and wake disturbance were completed by individuals with muscular dystrophy (339), multiple sclerosis (579), post-polio syndrome (443), and spinal cord injury (488) (total N=1849) participating in an ongoing longitudinal survey of people aging with a disability. Self-reported weight and height were used to calculate BMI. T-scores by BMI categories were compared to the PROMIS US population norms. Results: The mean BMI of respondents was 26.4 kg/m2 with 5.3% classified as underweight (<18.5), 41.6% normal-weight (18.5<25), 29.7% overweight (25<30), and 23.4% obese (≥30). Overweight and obese respondents tended to be older than normal weight individuals (p<0.05) and of male gender (p<0.0001). Compared to the US general population, individuals with disabilities reported a higher symptom burden and poorer QoL on all measures (all p<0.0001). Compared to the normal weight group obese individuals reported worse functioning on all QoL domains except depression (all p<0.05). In comparison to the overweight group the obese group also reported worse physical and social functioning, more fatigue and depression. Conclusion: Obesity in PWD is associated with a higher symptom burden and self-reported QoL. This should be considered when designing and deploying interventions to reduce obesity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Compare symptoms and QoL of people aging with disabilities to the US general population. 2. Identify outcomes associated with obesity in individuals aging with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Kurt Johnson is a professor in the Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington. He received his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, completed his clinical psychology internship at the UW-Madison Medical Center and taught at Florida State University for six years before joining the faculty at the U.W. He conducts research in the areas of disability and outcomes measurement.
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.