OBJECTIVE: To analyze the prevalence of disability throughout life and life expectancy free of disability, associated with obesity at ages 30 to 49 years. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: We used 46 and 20 years of mortality follow-up, respectively, for 3521 Original and 3013 Offspring Framingham Heart Study participants 30 to 49 years and classified as normal weight, overweight, or obese at baseline. Disability measures were available between 36 and 46 years of follow-up for 1352 Original participants and at 20 years of follow-up for 2268 Offspring participants. We measured the odds of disability in the Original cohort after 46 years follow-up, and we estimated life expectancy with and without disability from age 50. Two disability measures were used, one representing limitations with mobility only and the second representing limitations with activities of daily living (ADL). RESULTS: Obesity at ages 30 to 49 years was associated with a 2.01-fold increase in the odds of ADL limitations 46 years later. Nonsmoking adults who were obese between 30 and 49 years lived 5.70 (95% confidence interval, 4.11 to 7.35) (men) and 5.02 (95% confidence interval, 3.36 to 6.61) (women) fewer years free of ADL limitations from age 50 than their normal-weight counterparts. There was no significant difference in the total number of years lived with disability throughout life between those obese or normal weight, due to both higher disability prevalence and higher mortality in the obese population. DISCUSSION: Obesity in adulthood is associated with an increased risk of disability throughout life and a reduction in the length of time spent free of disability, but no substantial change in the length of time spent with disability.

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Obesity Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Peeters, A., Bonneux, L., Nusselder, W., de Laet, C., & Barendregt, J. (2004). Adult obesity and the burden of disability throughout life. Obesity Research. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10356