, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 1595-1603
Date: 24 Oct 2007

The association between body mass index and health-related quality of life: data from CaMos, a stratified population study

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Deviation from normal weight is associated with health risks, but less is known about the association between weight and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). We investigated this in the context of a population-based study, using a standard five-category weight classification system based on body mass index (BMI).


The Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study is a randomly selected sample of men and women over 25 years of age from nine centres across Canada. Data were obtained by interview, and height and weight were measured and used to calculate BMI. HRQOL was measured using the SF-36. Multivariable linear regression was used to identify the association between BMI category and SF-36 scores after controlling for potential confounders.


Complete data were available for 6302 women and 2792 men. Mean BMI for every age and gender group exceeded healthy weight guidelines. For women, being underweight, overweight or obese was associated with poorer HRQOL in most SF-36 outcomes while for men, this was associated with poorer HRQOL in some domains and with higher HRQOL in others.


A significant proportion of the population may be putting their health at risk due to excess weight, which may have a substantial negative effect on HRQOL, particularly in women. This underscores the need for continued public health efforts aimed at combating overweight and obesity.

CaMos Research Group: CaMos Coordinating Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec: David Goltzman (principal investigator), Alan Tenenhouse (principal investigator emeritus), Suzette Poliquin (national coordinator), Suzanne Godmaire (research assistant), Claudie Berger (study statistician).
Memorial University, St. John’s Newfoundland: Carol Joyce (director), Christopher Kovacs (co-director), Emma Sheppard (coordinator).
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia: Susan Kirkland, Stephanie Kaiser (co-directors), Barbara Stanfield (coordinator).
Laval University, Quebec City, Quebec: Jacques P. Brown (director), Louis Bessette (co-director), Marc Gendreau (coordinator).
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario: Tassos Anastassiades (director), Tanveer Towheed (co-director), Barbara Matthews (coordinator).
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario: Bob Josse (director), Tim Murray (co-director), Barbara Gardner-Bray (coordinator), Nancy Kreiger (principal investigator).
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario: Jonathan D. Adachi (director), Alexandra Papaioannou (co-director), Laura Pickard (coordinator).
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Wojciech P. Olszynski (director), K. Shawn Davison (co-director), Jola Thingvold (coordinator).
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta: David A. Hanley (director), Jane Allan (coordinator).
University British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia: Jerilynn C. Prior (director), Yvette Vigna (coordinator).