The population of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt most often suffers from obesity and has the greatest waist circumference, followed by Brandenburg. Hans Hauner of Munich Technical University and his coauthors have performed a study of the regional differences in prevalence in general medical care.
The study found that the mean prevalence of obesity was 22.8%, with a maximum in Saxony-Anhalt (28.3%) and a minimum in Bremen (19.8%). Persons with a body-mass index (weight/height2) above 30 are regarded as obese. The mean prevalence of increased waist circumference was 36.5%, with a maximum in Saxony-Anhalt (42.1%) and a minimum in Hamburg (30.5%). Waist circumference above 88 cm in women and above 102 cm in men is regarded as increased. 50% of obese patients and 32% of patients with increased waist circumference suffered from type 2 diabetes.
The authors based their results on an analysis of the data from the German Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Project (GEMCAS). A total of 1511 practices and 35 869 patients took part in this study.
As habits and socioeconomic conditions vary within Germany, the authors emphasize the importance of these data for regional health institutions. Targeted regional intervention strategies are largely lacking. The family doctor/general practitioner is the primary contact within the population and could play a central role in prevention and early recognition in combating obesity.
During the last 20 years, the prevalence of obesity in Germany has increased by 39% in men and 21.2% in women.
Their results are reported in the current edition of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105: 827-33).
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