Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Patients with obesity-related comorbidities have higher disability compared with those without obesity-related comorbidities

results from a cross-sectional study

Sirtori, Anna; Brunani, Amelia; Capodaglio, Paolo; Berselli, Maria E.; Villa, Valentina; Ceriani, Francesca; Corti, Stefania; Leonardi, Matilde; Raggi, Alberto ICF-OBESITY Group

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: March 2016 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 63–69
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000146
Original articles

The aim of the present study was to describe disability in adult obese patients with obesity-related comorbidities, and to compare it with that of patients without obesity-related comorbidities. Two groups of obese patients were administered a set of 166 International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) categories; on the basis of this set, count-based indexes were developed for each ICF component and difference between patients with and without comorbidities were assessed with independent-sample t-test and Cohen’s d as a measure of effect size. ICF categories in which at least 20% of patients reported a problem were considered relevant for describing functioning of obese patients; for each of them, the risk of having obesity-related comorbidities was calculated using odds ratio and 95% confidence interval. A total of 106 inpatients were enrolled in the study: 68 ICF categories reached the 20% threshold, and 31 of them were relevant only among patients with comorbidities. The presence of obesity-related comorbidities was associated with an increased risk of bodily impairments and limitations in performing daily activities. Compared with patients without obesity-related comorbidities, those with comorbidities showed higher disability. Comorbidities contribute to obesity-related disability, and our results support the importance of early rehabilitation interventions to reduce disability.

aDepartment of Internal Medicine

bPsycological Research Laboratory, Ospedale San Giuseppe IRCCS, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Verbania

cNeurology, Public Health and Disability Unit, Neurological Institute C. Besta IRCCS Foundation, Milan, Italy

Correspondence to Amelia Brunani, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Ospedale San Giuseppe IRCCS, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Via Cadorna 90, 28921 Verbania, Italy Tel: +39 323 514232; fax: +39 323 547694; e-mail:

Received September 16, 2015

Accepted October 18, 2015

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.