Estimating the burden of disease attributable to excess body weight in South Africa in 2000

Joubert, J., Norman, Rosana, Bradshaw, D., Goedecke, J. H., Steyn, N. P., & Puoane, T. (2007) Estimating the burden of disease attributable to excess body weight in South Africa in 2000. South African Medical Journal, 97(8), pp. 683-690.

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To estimate the burden of disease attributable to excess body weight using the body mass index (BMI), by age and sex, in South Africa in 2000.


World Health Organization comparative risk assessment (CRA) methodology was followed. Re-analysis of the 1998 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey data provided mean BMI estimates by age and sex. Populationattributable fractions were calculated and applied to revised burden of disease estimates. Monte Carlo simulation-modelling techniques were used for the uncertainty analysis.


South Africa.


Adults 30 years of age.

Outcome measures.

Deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) from ischaemic heart disease, ischaemic stroke, hypertensive disease, osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and selected cancers.


Overall, 87% of type 2 diabetes, 68% of hypertensive disease, 61% of endometrial cancer, 45% of ischaemic stroke, 38% of ischaemic heart disease, 31% of kidney cancer, 24% of osteoarthritis, 17% of colon cancer, and 13% of postmenopausal breast cancer were attributable to a BMI 21 kg/m2. Excess body weight is estimated to have caused 36 504 deaths (95% uncertainty interval 31 018 - 38 637) or 7% (95% uncertainty interval 6.0 - 7.4%) of all deaths in 2000, and 462 338 DALYs (95% uncertainty interval 396 512 - 478 847) or 2.9% of all DALYs (95% uncertainty interval 2.4 - 3.0%). The burden in females was approximately double that in males.


This study shows the importance of recognising excess body weight as a major risk to health, particularly among females, highlighting the need to develop, implement and evaluate comprehensive interventions to achieve lasting change in the determinants and impact of excess body weight.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 79834
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: adult, age, aged, article, body mass, breast cancer, cerebrovascular accident, colon cancer, controlled study, death, disability, endometrium cancer, female, health hazard, human, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, kidney cancer, major clinical study, male, malignant neoplastic disease, mortality, non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, obesity, osteoarthritis, postmenopause, risk assessment, sex difference, South Africa, world health organization
ISSN: 20785135
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: 2014 Health & Medical Publishing Group
Copyright Statement: Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial Works License
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2015 04:16
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2015 00:59

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