Introduction In Brazil, class III obesity has increased from 0.18% (1975), to 0.33% (1989) and 0.64% (2003) in the last decades, according to National surveys. However, no information on recent trends in class III obesity prevalence is available in Brazil.
Objective To estimate the prevalence of class III obesity and its associations with sociodemographic and behavioural factors. Method: We analysed data from the Telephone-based Surveillance System of Risk and Protective Factors for Chronic Diseases (Vigitel) collected in 2009. Approximately 54 000 adults were interviewed in all al state capitals and federal district. Individuals with body mass index higher than 40 kg/m2 were identified as class III obese. Poisson regression models were used to evaluate the factors associated with class III obesity.
Result The prevalence of class III obesity was 1.1% (n=489; 95% CI 0.9 to 1.3%) in 2009. Class III obesity was associated with sex (PR=2.36; 95% CI 1.4 to 3.8), dyslipidemia (PR=1.9; 95% CI 1.3 to 2.8), hypertension (PR=5.5; 95% CI 3.6 to 8.3), diabetes (PR=1.8; 95% CI 1.2 to 2.7), cardiovascular disease (PR=2.2; 95% CI 1.0 to 4.6), watching television more than 3 hours/day (PR=1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.0) and being current smoker (PR=0.5; 95% CI 0.3 to 0.8). When we included all associated factors in the model, sex (PR=2.0; 95% CI −1.2 to −3.3; p-value=0.004), hypertension (PR=5.3; 95% CI 3.0 to 9.5; p-value <0.001), watching television more than 3 hours/day (PR=1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 2.9; p-value=0.020) and being current smoker (PR=0.5; 95% CI 0.2 to 0.8; p-value=0.012) remained associated with class III obesity.
Conclusion Vigitel is an efficient tool to monitor class III obesity in Brazil. This study identified some factors associated with class III obesity that should be considered when developing prevention measures due to its relations with several chronic diseases.
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