CRELES: Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study, 2005 (Costa Rica Estudio de Longevidad y Envejecimiento Saludable)

Luis Rosero-Bixby, Xinia Fernandez, William Dow
2010 unpublished
Palabras-clave: Obesity, Subjective Survival Resumen Latin America and the Caribbean are witnessing an increasing obesity trend that is accompanied by an increasing prevalence of obesity-related comorbidities, while diseases that traditionally burdened the region are still present. Although the relationship between obesity and mortality has mainly been studied for developed countries, there is also evidence of this relationship for developing countries as well. The literature on individuals"
more » ... on individuals" knowledge of the health risks associated with obesity is, by far, less abundant than is the literature that investigates the health consequences of excess body weight. Even so, results point clearly towards deficient knowledge of the risks associated with obesity. Individuals appear to underestimate the mortality risks of their excessive body weight. Our results show that in general, the determinants of subjective survival behave as expected in the literature for developed countries. We also found that subjective survival expectations are an important mortality predictor, especially for men. Individuals at higher levels of body weight/risky fat distribution are surprisingly unaware of deleterious effects of obesity on future survival. This result should be taken into account for any intervention oriented to reduce the burdens associated with obesity. Unexpected findings may be revealing lack of health education/information and/or "defensive optimism."  Trabajo presentado en el IV Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Población, ALAP, realizado en La Habana, Cuba, del 16 al 19 de Noviembre de 2010. With very few exceptions, there is no research done on subjective survival expectations related to excess body weight in developed countries; for developing countries, the body of research on this topic is scant. The main objectives of this paper is to investigate whether older adults are aware of the deleterious effects that excessive body weight (fat) may have on their future survival in a developing country. In order to so, this paper first investigates whether the relationship between individuals" characteristics and their subjective survival expectations differ across body weight levels; and second, it assesses whether subjective survival predicts mortality (controlling for sociodemographic and health-related variables including self-reported health).