Comorbidity network analysis related to obesity in middle-Aged and older adults: Findings from Korean population-based survey data

Hye Ah Lee, Hyesook Park

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16 Scopus citations


We conducted a comorbidity network analysis using data from the seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to systematically quantify obesity-related comorbidities. METHODS: The study included 11,712 subjects aged 45 to 80 (5,075 male and 6,637 female). A prevalent disease was defined as a specific disease for which a subject had been diagnosed by a doctor and was being treated. Comorbidity network analysis was performed for diseases with a prevalence of 1% or more, including overweight and obesity. We estimated the observed-To-expected ratio of all possible disease pairs with comorbidity strength and visualized the network of obesity-related comorbidities. RESULTS: In subjects over 45 years old, 37.3% of people had a body mass index over 25.0 kg/m2. The most common prevalent disease was hypertension (42.3%), followed by dyslipidemia (17.4%) and diabetes (17.0%). Overweight and obese subjects were 2.1 times (95% confidence interval, 1.9 to 2.3) more likely to have a comorbidity (i.e., 2 or more diseases) than normal-weight subjects. Metabolic diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and osteoarthritis were directly associated with overweight and obesity. The probability of coexistence for each of those 4 diseases was 1.3 times higher than expected. In addition, hypertension and dyslipidemia frequently coexisted in overweight and obese female along with other diseases. In obese male, dyslipidemia and diabetes were the major diseases in the comorbidity network. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide evidence justifying the management of metabolic components in obese individuals. In addition, our results will help prioritize interventions for comorbidity reduction as a public health goal.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021018
JournalEpidemiology and health
StatePublished - 2021

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© 2021 Epidemiology and Health. All rights reserved.


  • Comorbidity
  • Multimorbidity
  • Network analysis
  • Obesity


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