Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Veterans with Multiple Sclerosis.

TitlePrevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Veterans with Multiple Sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsKhurana SR, DiGiacomo A, Wadhwani R, Bowen JD, Turner AP, Leipertz SL, Haselkorn JK
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care

Background: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in veterans with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with sex-specific published rates for the US population, outpatients at US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities, and male veterans with spinal cord injury (SCI). Setting: A retrospective study of 9688 veterans with MS enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), identified by linking the VA MS Centers of Excellence Data Repository to the VA Office of Quality and Performance 1999 Large Health Survey and the Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients (2002–2004). Methods: Body mass Index (BMI [kg/m2]) was calculated from self-reported weights and heights. Subjects were classified into four weight categories using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines: underweight (BMI <18.5), normal weight (BMI 18.5–24), overweight (BMI 25–29), and obese (BMI =30). Findings: The proportion of men with MS (n = 8536) and 95% confidence intervals in the four weight classifications is 2.9% (2.55–3.27) underweight, 32.3% (31.29–33.29) normal weight, 42.1% (41.02–43.12) overweight, and 22.7% (21.84–23.64) obese. The proportion of women with MS (n = 1137) in each weight class is 4.1% (2.86–5.24) underweight, 39.2% (36.35–42.11) normal weight, 27.8% (25.14–30.44) overweight, and 28.9% (26.26–31.62) obese. In comparison, the proportion of men who are overweight and obese is 39.7% and 27.5%, respectively, for the US population, 40.1 and 32.9% for veterans, and 38.7% and 27.2% for SCI. The proportion of women who are overweight and obese is 28.5% and 33.4% for the US population and 31.0% and 37.4% for veterans. Conclusions: Overall, individuals with MS treated in VHA have rates of overweight similar to other populations and slightly decreased rates of obesity compared with the veteran and US populations.

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