Body Mass Index has been associated with morbidity and mortality. Cancer, infectious diseases and lung diseases have been associated with low weight. However, any degree of overweight, as well as intra-abdominal fat are associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The associations of Body Mass Index and waist/hip ratio with the occurrence of hospitalizations were evaluated in a population based sample of the city of Rio de Janeiro (1996). Residents of both sexes from 20 to 60 years, totaling 1,446 men and 1,749 women were measured and interviewed in their homes. About 5% of men and 5.8% of women reported hospitalizations. Hospitalization in the previous year excluded childbirth. For women, hospitalizations increased with the increase of Body Mass Index. Logistic regression was chosen for analysis, having hospitalization as the dependent variable and including Body Mass Index, waist/hip ratio, age, smoking and per capita income in the model. Body Mass Index and waist/hip ratio were positively associated with hospitalizations only for women (Odds Ratio = 1.06 for each unit of Body Mass Index, p=0.01). In relation to abdominal fat, an increase of 12 cm in the waist and 80 cm in hips in women resulted in an Odds Ratio of 3.5 (p = 0.01). Overweight and particularly abdominal fat distribution are important risk factors for morbidity, evaluated through hospitalizations among women.
Body Mass Index; Waist/hip ratio; Hospitalization and obesity