Relationship of body mass index in young adulthood and health-related quality of life two decades later: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Quality of Life; Body Mass Index; Young Adult; Overweight; Obesity


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


Objective: The expanding overweight and obesity epidemic notwithstanding, little is known about their long-term effect on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The main objective of this study was to investigate whether overweight (body mass index (BMI) 25 to <30 kg m(-2)) and obese (BMI >/=30 kg m(-2)) young adults have poorer HRQoL 20 years later.

Methods: We studied 3014 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a longitudinal, community-dwelling, biracial cohort from four cities. BMI was measured at baseline and 20 years later. HRQoL was assessed by the Physical Component Summary (PCS) and the Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey at year 20. Higher PCS or MCS scores indicate better HRQoL.

Results: Mean year 20 PCS score was 52.2 for normal weight participants at baseline, 50.3 for overweight and 46.4 for obese (P-trend <0.001). This relation persisted after adjustment for baseline demographics, general health, and physical and behavioral risk factors and after further adjustment for 20-year changes in risk factors. No association was observed for MCS scores (P-trend 0.43).

Conclusion: Overweight and obesity in early adulthood are adversely associated with self-reported physical HRQoL, but not mental HRQoL 20 years later.

International Journal of Obesity advance online publication, 15 June 2010; doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.120.

DOI of Published Version



Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Jun 15. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of obesity (2005)

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed