Prevalence and health care utilization of severe obesity in children accessing primary health care in Ontario
Project Lead: Catherine Birken
Timeline: May 2015 – January 2018
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of severe obesity in three cohorts of 0 to 18 year olds in Ontario and whether severe obesity is associated with increased all-cause health care utilization in 0 to 18 year olds.
Research Plan: Cross-sectional analyses will be completed to determine the prevalence of SO in three data sources (TARget Kids!, The Electronic Medical Record Administrative Data Linked Database, and the Better Outcomes Registry & Network) by abstracting height/length, weight, age, sex, family income and postal code data. Longitudinal analyses to assess changes in severe obesity prevalence over time in these datasets will also be conducted by the team. In addition, the research team will link the three datasets with Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences’s (ICES) administrative health services data and conduct a cross-sectional analyses to assess health care utilization of children with severe obesity. Differences in health care utilization will be examined across weight status categories to estimate the impact of severe obesity versus lower weight status levels (normal weight, overweight, obese).
Outcomes: This study will identify the prevalence of severe obesity in children and the impact of severe obesity on health care utilization in Ontario and demonstrate the feasibility of using primary care data to monitor SO prevalence and health care utilization, findings that can potentially be extend to other provinces through our team of researchers and decision-makers.