Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 923–929 | Cite as

Use of Preventive Services of Overweight and Obese Europeans Aged 50–79 Years

  • Isabelle Peytremann-Bridevaux
  • Brigitte Santos-Eggimann
Original Article



Although frequent contacts with health care systems may represent more opportunities to receive preventive services, excess body weight has been linked to decreased access to preventive services and quality of care.


The objective of the study is to examine whether obese and overweight, compared to normal weight persons, have different experiences of preventive care.


The study design is cross-sectional. Baseline data (2004) of a population-based survey conducted in 10 European countries.


The participants were noninstitutionalized adults, 13,859, (50–79 years) with body mass index (BMI) ≥18.5 kg/m2, who answered the baseline and supplementary questionnaires (overall response rate of 51.3%) of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE).


BMI was divided into normal weight (BMI, 18.5–24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI, 25.0–29.9 kg/m2), and obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2). Reported dependent variables were: influenza immunization, colorectal and breast cancer screening, discussion and recommendation about physical activity, and weight measurement. We performed multivariate logistic regressions, adjusting for age, sex, education, income, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and country.


Overweight and obesity were associated with higher odds of receiving influenza immunization but not with receipt of breast or colorectal cancer screening. Overweight and obese individuals mentioned more frequently that their general practitioner discussed physical activity or checked their weight, which was not explained by chronic diseases or the number of ambulatory care visits.


These first data from SHARE did not suggest that overweight or obesity were associated with decreased use of preventive services.


obesity overweight population-based study preventive services 



This paper uses data from the early release 1 of SHARE 2004. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th framework program (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic program Quality of Life). Additional funding came from the US National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01, and OGHA 04-064). Data collection in Austria (through the Austrian Science Fund, FWF), Belgium (through the Belgian Science Policy Office) and Switzerland (through BBW/OFES/UFES) was nationally funded. The SHARE data set is introduced in Börsch-Supan et al. (2005)51; methodological details are contained in Börsch-Supan and Jürges (2005)28.”

Conflict of Interest Statement

None disclosed.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Peytremann-Bridevaux
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brigitte Santos-Eggimann
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Services Research Unit, Institute for Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of Lausanne (IUMSP)LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Health Economics and ManagementUniversity of Lausanne (IEMS)LausanneSwitzerland

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