Negative Aspects of Close Relationships as a Predictor of Increased Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference: The Whitehall II Study

Anne Kouvonen, M. Stafford, R. De Vogli, M.J. Shipley, M.G. Marmot, T. Cox, J. Vahtera, A. Vaananen, T. Heponiemi, A. Singh-Manoux, M. Kivimaki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives. We investigated whether exposure to negative aspects of close relationships was associated with subsequent increase in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
    Methods. Data came from a prospective cohort study (Whitehall II) of 9425 civil servants aged 35 to 55 years at baseline (phase 1: 1985-1988). We assessed negative aspects of close relationships with the Close Persons Questionnaire (range 0-12) at phases 1 and 2 (1989-1990). We measured BMI and waist circumference at phases 3 (1991-1994) and 5 (1997-1999). Covariates at phase 1 included gender, age, marital status, ethnicity, BMI, employment grade, smoking, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and common mental disorder.
    Results. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and health behaviors, participants with higher exposure to negative aspects of close relationships had a higher likelihood of a 10% or greater increase in BMI and waist circumference (odds ratios per 1-unit increase 1.08 [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.02, 1.14; P=.007] and 1.09 [CI=1.04, 1.14; P <= .001], respectively) as well as a transition from the overweight (25 <= BMI <30) to the obese (BMI >= 30) category.
    Conclusions. Adverse social relationships may contribute to weight gain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1474-1480
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
    Volume101
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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