Associations of obesity with socioeconomic and lifestyle factors in middle-aged and elderly men: European Male Aging Study (EMAS)
Han, Thang S × Lee, David M Lean, Michael Finn, Joseph D O'Neill, Terence W Bartfai, Gyorgy Forti, Gianni Giwercman, Aleksander Kula, Krzysztof Pendleton, Neil Punab, Margus Rutter, Martin Kenneth Vanderschueren, Dirk Huhtaniemi, Ilpo Wu, Fredrick C W Casanueva, Felipe F #
European Journal of Endocrinology vol:172 issue:1 pages:59-67
Background: Social and lifestyle influences on age-related changes in body morphology are complex because lifestyle and physiological response to social stress can affect body fat differently. Objective: We examined the associations of socioeconomic status (SES) and lifestyle factors with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) in middle-aged and elderly European men. Design and setting: Cross-sectional study of 3,319 men aged 40-79 recruited from eight European centres. Outcomes: We estimated relative risk ratios (RRRs) of overweight/obesity associated with unfavourable SES and lifestyles. Results: The prevalence of BMI30kg/m2 or WC102cm rose linearly with age, except in the 8th decade when high BMI, but not high WC, declined. Among men aged 40-59y, compared to non-smokers or most active men, centre and BMI adjusted RRRs for having a WC between 94-101.9cm increased by 1.6-fold in current smokers, and 2.7-fold in least active men, maximal at 2.8-fold in least active men who smoked. Similar patterns but greater RRRs were observed for men with WC≥102cm, notably 8.4-fold greater in least active men who smoked. Compared to men in employment, those who were not in employment had increased risk of having a high WC by 1.4-fold in the 40-65y group and by 1.3-fold in the 40-75y group. These relationships were weaker among elderly men. Conclusion: Unfavourable SES and lifestyles associate with increased risk of obesity, especially in middle-aged men. The combination of inactivity and smoking was the strongest predictor of high WC, providing a focus for health promotion and prevention at an early age.