Suzana S, Kee CC, Jamaluddin AR, Noor Safiza MN, Khor GL, Jamaiyah H, Geeta A, Ahmad Ali Z, Rahmah R, Ruzita AT and Ahmad Fauzi Y (2010). The Third National Health and Morbidity Survey: prevalence of obesity and abdominal obesity among the Malaysian elderly population. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health 24(2): 318-329
Obesity is an emerging public health threat in the elderly population in developing countries. Hence, the Third National Health and Morbidity Survey has assessed 4746 individuals aged 60 years and older recruited through a household survey to determine the prevalence of adiposity using body mass index and waist circumference. The national’s prevalence of overweight and obesity in men was 29.2% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 27.2-31.3) and 7.4% (95% CI = 6.4-8.6), respectively. However, the prevalence decreased with age. The figures in women were 30.3% (95% CI = 28.5-32.1) and 13.8% (95% CI = 12.5-15.2), respectively. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 21.4% (95%CI = 20.2-22.6), with 7.7% (95% CI = 6.7-9.0) in men and 33.4% (95% CI = 31.4-35.3) in women. Predictors of adiposity include the following: Malay and Indian ethnicity, higher education level, higher household income, from urban area, and being married. In conclusion, adiposity affects about one third of the Malaysian elderly population, especially those of the younger age group, women, and those with higher socioeconomic status.