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PharmacoEconomics

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 655–672 | Cite as

Obesity in the Context of Aging: Quality of Life Considerations

  • Francesco Corica
  • Giampaolo Bianchi
  • Andrea Corsonello
  • Natalia Mazzella
  • Fabrizia Lattanzio
  • Giulio MarchesiniEmail author
Review Article

Abstract

The progressive increase in the prevalence of obesity and aging in the population is resulting in increased healthcare and disability spending. The burden of obesity is particularly relevant in old age, due to accumulating co-morbidities and changes in body composition. Sarcopenic obesity, a mix of over- and under-nutrition, causes frailty, disability, and problems in social and psychological areas, impacting overall health-related quality of life (HR-QOL). The relationship between obesity, aging, and HR-QOL is, however, much more complex than generally acknowledged and is difficult to disentangle. The impact of obesity on HR-QOL is particularly strong in young people, who are free of co-morbidities. It progressively attenuates, compared with the general population, with advancing age, when co-morbid conditions are diffusely present and reduce the perceived health status, independent of obesity. However, even this apparent ‘obesity paradox’ should not minimize the importance of obesity on HR-QOL, as other obesity-associated limitations and disabilities do impact HR-QOL in older age. A patient-centered approach aimed at reducing the disability and social isolation of advancing age is mandatory to improve HR-QOL in any class of obesity.

Keywords

Obesity Nottingham Health Profile Sarcopenic Obesity Body Image Dissatisfaction Obesity Paradox 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Ana Bozas, PhD, an employee of Analysis Group, Inc., for assistance with the preparation of this manuscript.

FC, GB, AC, NM, FL, and GM declare that no competing interests exist in relation to the material presented in this article.

Author contributions

FC, GB, AC, and GM conceived the study; FC and GM reviewed the literature and selected the most valid, relevant, and useful studies; GB provided the data from the Pianoro study; FC, AC, and GM provided the data from the QUOVADIS study; FC, GB, AC, and GM wrote the first draft of the manuscript; NM and FL critically reviewed the draft; all named authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Guarantor’s name

GM takes responsibility for the contents of the article.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Corica
    • 1
  • Giampaolo Bianchi
    • 2
  • Andrea Corsonello
    • 3
  • Natalia Mazzella
    • 4
  • Fabrizia Lattanzio
    • 3
  • Giulio Marchesini
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics“Alma Mater Studiorum” UniversityBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Scientific Direction, Italian National Research Center on Aging (INRCA)AnconaItaly
  4. 4.Unit of Metabolic Diseases and Clinical Dietetics, Department of Clinical Medicine“Alma Mater Studiorum” University, Policlinico S. OrsolaBolognaItaly

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