The longitudinal association between weight change and health-related quality of life: the KORA S4/F4 cohort study
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Despite the increasing importance of patient-centered perspectives, the impact of weight change on the health-related quality of life (HRQL) has remained unclear. This work aims to investigate this longitudinal relationship.
Data was collected from a population-based cohort study of 3,080 Germans. Anthropometrics and HRQL were assessed at baseline and after a 7-year follow-up period. Using linear regression the average change in HRQL scores was calculated among 5 mutually exclusive weight change groups. Multilevel growth modeling was conducted to differentiate between interpersonal (cross-sectional) and intrapersonal (longitudinal) associations between body mass index (BMI)/BMI change and HRQL.
Heavy weight gain (≥10 % body weight) was associated with impairments in physical health among women (−2.82 points, CI: −4.29, −1.34) and obese men (−4.33 points, CI: −7.62, −1.04) and with improvements in mental health among women (+3.20 points, CI: +1.37, +5.02). Results from the multilevel models were consistent, showing negative associations between BMI change and physical health, positive associations between BMI change and mental health and a high degree of similarity between interpersonal and intrapersonal associations.
Weight gain leads to clinically relevant impairments in physical health. More research is needed to clarify the antipodal effects of weight change on physical and mental health components.