The relationship between obesity and medical utilization among women in a primary care setting
Article first published online: 6 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 161–167, March 1998
How to Cite
Sansone, R. A., Sansone, L. A. and Wiederman, M. W. (1998), The relationship between obesity and medical utilization among women in a primary care setting. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 23: 161–167. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(199803)23:2<161::AID-EAT6>3.0.CO;2-I
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 1998
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 SEP 1996
- Laureate Research Foundation
- obese women;
- body mass index;
- physician contact
This project was designed to explore the utilization of specific health care resources by obese compared with nonobese women in a primary care setting. Method: Eighty-three obese women, consecutively identified during nonemergent appointments in a primary care health maintenance organization (HMO) setting, were compared with 111 nonobese women with regard to several parameters of health care utilization. All participants' medical records were reviewed for the preceding 12 months for the number of diagnoses, combined telephone and physician contacts with the facility, different physicians seen, and prescriptions. Results: Increasing body mass index (BMI) was predictive of a greater number of diagnoses, contacts with the facility, total number of prescriptions, and number of different physicians seen. After controlling for the number of diagnoses, BMI remained predictive of the number of different physicians seen. Discussion: Our findings indicate that increasing BMI is associated with greater health care utilization, primarily through greater morbidity. Additionally, there may also be particular psychosocial and illness factors which contribute to obese women's patterns of physician contact. © 1998 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 23:161–167, 1998.