Background: Obesity impairs quality of life, but the perception of the impairment could be different from one country to another. The purpose was to compare weight-related quality of life (QOL) between cohorts from Spain and North America. Methods: A cross-sectional case-control study was performed between two populations. Four hundred Spanish and 400 North American obese subjects suitable for bariatric surgery closely matched for race, gender, age, and body mass index (BMI) were included. Two non-obese control groups matched for gender, age, and BMI from each population were also evaluated (n = 400 in each group). The participants completed the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life - Lite (IWQOL - Lite) questionnaire, a measure of weight-related QOL. Results: Spanish morbidly obese patients showed poorer QOL than their North American counterparts in physical function, sexual life, work, and total score. By contrast, Spanish non-obese control subjects reported better QOL in all domains than their North American counterparts. Women, both in Spain and North America, reported reduced QOL compared to men on the domain of self-esteem. In addition, North American women reported reduced QOL on the sexual life domain compared to men. BMI correlated negatively with all domains of QOL except for self-esteem in both national groups. Conclusions: Spanish obese subjects suitable for bariatric surgery report poorer weight-related quality of life than their North American counterparts, and obese women, regardless of nationality, perceive a reduced quality of life compared to men. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
- Impact of Weight on Quality of Life - Lite (IWQOL - Lite)
- Morbidly obese
- Quality of life