Relationship between body mass index and the use of healthcare services in Australia

Reidpath, Daniel D., Crawford, David, Tilgner, Linda and Gibbons, Carl 2002, Relationship between body mass index and the use of healthcare services in Australia, Obesity research, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 526-531, doi: 10.1038/oby.2002.71.

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Title Relationship between body mass index and the use of healthcare services in Australia
Author(s) Reidpath, Daniel D.
Crawford, DavidORCID iD for Crawford, David
Tilgner, Linda
Gibbons, Carl
Journal name Obesity research
Volume number 10
Issue number 6
Start page 526
End page 531
Publisher North American Association for the Study of Obesity
Place of publication Baton Rouge, LA
Publication date 2002-06
ISSN 1071-7323
Keyword(s) body mass index
medical-service use
preventive screening
Summary Objective: To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the use of medical and preventive health services. Research Methods and Procedures: This study involved secondary analysis of weighted data from the Australian 1995 National Health Survey. The study was a population survey designed to obtain national benchmark information about a range of health-related issues. Data were available from 17,033 men and 17,174 women, 20 years or age. BMI, based on self-reported weight and height, was analyzed in relation to the use of medical services and preventive health services. Results: A positive relationship was found between BMI and medical service use, such as medication use, visits to hospital accident and emergency departments (for women only); doctor visits, visits to a hospital outpatient clinics; and visits to other health professionals (for women only). A negative relationship was found in women between BMI and preventive health services. Underweight women were found to be significantly less likely to have Papanicolaou smear tests, breast examinations, and mammograms. Discussion: This research shows that people who fall outside the healthy weight range are more likely to use a range of medical services. Given that the BMI of industrialized populations appears to be increasing, this has important ramifications for health service planning and reinforces the need for obesity prevention strategies at a population level.

Language eng
DOI 10.1038/oby.2002.71
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, NAASO
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