Assessment of an obesity clinic in a center hospital.

Maria P Vasconcelos, Zulmira Jorge, Ema L Nobre, Andreia Domingues, Ana Macedo, J Jácome de Castro

Abstract


Slight weight losses (5%) are consensually accepted as important in the treatment of obesity today. Some authors also consider that maintaining weight is an indicator of success in the treatment of this condition.Characterisation and assessment of changes in weight in obese patients monitored at an obesity clinic in a hospital endocrinology department.Retrospective analysis of the clinical files of the Endocrinology Clinic. The patients included were overweight adults (BMI = 25 kg/m2) who had been monitored since 1999 and were not suffering from thyroid dysfunction or hypercortisolism. Data were gathered on bio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics, reason for consultation, type of treatment, results achieved and dropouts. The statistical analysis included calculating central tendency measures and dispersion for the continuous variables and building frequency tables to describe the categorical variables. We used the t-test to compare average values between samples. Frequencies were compared by means of the chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test. The significance level was 5%.We studied 457 patients (60.6% female) with an average age of 53 years (DP +/- 15) and an average BMI of 32.4 +/- 5.1 Kg/m2. 51.9% of the patients came to the clinic because of overweight (n = 237) (Obesity Group-OBG), while the rest did so because of diabetes mellitus (35.4%) or some other disease (12.7%) (Other Cause Group-OCG). A dietary plan was prescribed for 86.1% (OBG) and 81.8% (OCG), drugs for 16.9% (OBG) and 6.4% (OCG) and physical activity for 77.6% (OBG) and 77.7% (OCG). The average weight loss was 2.1% in the OBG. The individuals who dropped out of the clinic had lost less weight (1.3% vs. 2.9%), although the difference was not significant. More than half (57.7%) of the individuals studied lost weight, 14.4% remained the same and 27.8% gained weight.1) Only 50% of overweight patients come to our department to lose weight. 2) More than 75% of overweight patients have a prescribed, structured diet plan, regardless of the reason for their first visit. 3) About 75% of patients achieve acceptable objectives (maintaining or losing weight), and 25% of these have lost more than 5% of their initial weight.

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