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HPA&E Studies : Journal Publications

Burden of disease associated with overweight and obesity among U.S. military retirees and their dependents, aged 38-64, 2003.

Author:Kress AM, Hartzell MC, Peterson MR.

Purpose:
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in the general US population and in beneficiaries of the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Healthcare System. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence and correlation of overweight, obesity and associated co-morbidities in the DoD beneficiary population.

Methods:
A cross-sectional analysis was preformed on data from the DoD's 2003 Population Health Survey. Prevalence odds ratios (POR) were used to describe the association between overweight and obesity categories and prevalence of co-morbidities.

Results:
Eighty percent of men and 60% of women were overweight or obese and 33% of men and 29% of women were obese. The PORs increased in magnitude corresponding to increasing BMI categories for all co-morbidities. The percent of individuals reporting between 2 and 4 co-morbidities also increased with increasing weight class.

Conclusions:
Overweight, obesity and associated co-morbidities are prevalent among DoD beneficiaries. Overweight and obese individuals have an increased prevalence of co-morbidities compared to normal weight individuals. Twenty plus years of active duty in the military does not confer any long-term protection against overweight, obesity or the associated co-morbidities. The DoD should emphasize prevention in order to reduce healthcare costs and the disease burden in this cohort.

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