Aim: To investigate the common gastro-intestinal symptoms and quality of life in severely obese subjects. Methods: We prospectively recruited 340 severely obese patients [mean age 30.5 ± 7.8 years; mean body mass index (BMI) 42.9 ± 6.1 kg/m2] and 340 healthy persons (mean BMI 23.1 ± 3.8 kg/m2) matched in sex, age, marriage and education. The quality of life was studied using a specific gastrointestinal quality of life index (GIQLI) questionnaire. The 36 items and four functional domains of the GIQLI were compared and analyzed between the groups. The possible correlation of GIQLI scores with specific clinical variables in severely obese patients was assessed by measuring Pearson's coefficient of correlation. Results: The mean GIQLI score of severely obese patients was lower than the normal control group (108.5 ± 17.1 vs 123.2 ± 14.8, P < 0.01). Severely obese patients had decreased scores in the domains of general health, including physical (17.3 ± 6.0 vs 22.4 ± 3.1, P < 0.01), emotional (12.6 ± 4.3 vs 16.6 ± 3.1, P < 0.01) and social function (14.7 ± 3.9 vs 17.9 ± 2.5, P < 0.01), and in the domain of gastrointestinal symptoms (63.9 ± 6.7 vs 66.3 ± 7.2, P < 0.05). A significantly decreased score was found in nine items, and there was an increased score in one out of the 19 items in the domain of symptoms of the GIQLI questionnaire. The decreased score in the domain of symptoms was correlated with increasing glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Conclusion: Severe obesity resulted in a significant impairment of the quality of life and caused specific gastrointestinal symptoms compared with normal controls. The development of gastrointestinal symptoms is correlated increasing HbA1c, suggesting that a poor control of hyperglycemia might be the etiology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes