Health related quality of life and psychological problems in Egyptian children with simple obesity in relation to body mass index

  • EA Abdel-Aziz
  • RT Hamza
  • AM Youssef
  • FM Mohammed


Background: Obesity in childhood or adolescence could affect quality of life (QOL). There is little existing information about the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of obese children and adolescents.

Objective: To assess HRQOL and psychiatric co-morbidities in obese children and adolescents; and their relationship to body mass index (BMI).

Methods: Fifty obese children and adolescents were compared to 50 healthy age-, sex- and pubertal stage-matched non obese children and adolescents serving as controls. They were assessed by child self-report and parent proxy report using a pediatric HRQOL inventory scale, also, Children Anxiety Scale and Children Depression Inventory (CDI) were assessed.

Results: Obese children had total HRQOL score: 69.1 ±8.4 versus 81.1 ±7.8 respectively, p< 0.001 and their parents had total score: 62.9 ± 9.5 versus 74.9 ± 7.2 respectively, p <0.001. Obese children reported lower health-related QOL scores in all domains than controls. BMI standard deviation score (SDS) correlated negatively with total score and all domains in child self report and parent proxy report. Anxiety (mild: 8%, moderate: 38%, severe: 54%) and depression (mild: 18%, moderate: 24%, severe: 58%) were pre-existing or diagnosed in all obese children with significant positive correlations between BMISDS and each of anxiety (r =0.81, p< 0.01) and CDI scores (r = 0.78, p=0.01). BMI (OR: 5.72, 95%CI: 2.57–5.9) and waist circumference (OR:2.27, 95%CI:1.99–5.31) SDSs were independent risk factors affecting the total QOL score.

Conclusions: Obese children and adolescents have lower health-related QOL that correlated negatively with BMI, also they are more susceptible to anxiety and depression symptoms than non obese children.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Obesity; Body mass index; Health related quality of life


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1110-8630