Impact of obesity on life expectancy among different European countries: secondary analysis of population-level data over the 1975–2012 period

N. Vidra, S. Trias Llimós, F. Janssen

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Abstract

Objective
This study assesses the impact of obesity on life expectancy for 26 European national populations and the USA over the 1975–2012 period.
Design
Secondary analysis of population-level obesity and mortality data.
Setting
European countries, namely Austria, Belarus, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the UK; and the USA.
Participants
National populations aged 18–100 years, by sex.
Measurements
Using data by age and sex, we calculated obesity-attributable mortality by multiplying all-cause mortality (Human Mortality Database) with obesity-attributable mortality fractions (OAMFs). OAMFs were obtained by applying the weighted sum method to obesity prevalence data (non-communicable diseases (NCD) Risk Factor Collaboration) and European relative risks (Dynamic Modeling for Health Impact Assessment (DYNAMO- HIA)). We estimated potential gains in life expectancy (PGLE) at birth by eliminating obesity-attributable mortality from all-cause mortality using associated single-decrement life tables.
Results
In the 26 European countries in 2012, PGLE due to obesity ranged from 0.86 to 1.67 years among men, and from 0.66 to 1.54 years among women. In all countries, PGLE increased over time, with an average annual increase of 2.68% among men and 1.33% among women. Among women in Denmark, Switzerland, and Central and Eastern European countries, the increase in PGLE levelled off after 1995. Without obesity, the average increase in life expectancy between 1975 and 2012 would have been 0.78 years higher among men and 0.30 years higher among women.
Conclusions
Obesity was proven to have an impact on both life expectancy levels and trends in Europe. The differences found in this impact between countries and the sexes can be linked to contextual factors, as well as to differences in people’s ability and capacity to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number7
Early online dateAug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • obesity
  • life expectancy
  • Europe

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  • Research Output

    Impact of obesity on life expectancy levels and trends in Europe

    Janssen, F., Vidra, N. & Trias Llimós, S., 13 Jan 2020, In : N-IUSSP.

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticlePopularizing

    Open Access

    Impact of obesity on life expectancy levels and trends in Europe

    Janssen, F., Vidra, N. & Trias Llimós, S., 17 Jan 2020, In : neodemos, popolazione società e politica.

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticlePopularizing

    Open Access

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