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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in Population Health Management 2010 Jun;13(3):151-61. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1089/pop.2009.0039. ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc


This study analyzed GE Centricity Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data to examine the effects of body mass index (BMI) and obesity, key risk factor components of metabolic syndrome, on the prevalence of 3 chronic diseases: type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. These chronic diseases occur with high prevalence and impose high disease burdens. The rationale for using Centricity EMR data is 2-fold. First, EMRs may be a good source of BMI/obesity data, which are often underreported in surveys and administrative databases. Second, EMRs provide an ideal means to track variables over time and, thus, allow longitudinal analyses of relationships between risk factors and disease prevalence and progression. Analysis of Centricity EMR data showed associations of age, sex, race/ethnicity, and BMI with diagnosed prevalence of the 3 conditions. Results include uniform direct correlations between age and BMI and prevalence of each disease; uniformly greater disease prevalence for males than females; varying differences by race/ethnicity (ie, African Americans have the highest prevalence of diagnosed type II diabetes and hypertension, while whites have the highest prevalence of diagnosed hypertension); and adverse effects of comorbidities. The direct associations between BMI and disease prevalence are consistent for males and females and across all racial/ethnic groups. The results reported herein contribute to the growing literature about the adverse effects of obesity on chronic disease prevalence and about the potential value of EMR data to elucidate trends in disease prevalence and facilitate longitudinal analyses.



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