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Social Network Characteristics and Body Mass Index in an Elderly Korean Population

 Won Joon Lee  ;  Yoosik Youm  ;  Yumie Rhee  ;  Yeong-Ran Park  ;  Sang Hui Chu  ;  Hyeon Chang Kim 
 Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Vol.46(6) : 336-345, 2013 
Journal Title
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue Date
Aged ; Aged, 80 and over ; Body Mass Index* ; Comorbidity ; Depression ; Female ; Humans ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Regression Analysis ; Republic of Korea/epidemiology ; Self Concept ; Smoking ; Social Networking*
Aged ; Body mass index ; Social support
OBJECTIVES: Research has shown that obesity appears to spread through social ties. However, the association between other characteristics of social networks and obesity is unclear. This study aimed to identify the association between social network characteristics and body mass index (BMI, kg/m(2)) in an elderly Korean population.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study analyzed data from 657 Koreans (273 men, 384 women) aged 60 years or older who participated in the Korean Social Life, Health, and Aging Project. Network size is a count of the number of friends. Density of communication network is the number of connections in the social network reported as a fraction of the total links possible in the personal (ego-centric) network. Average frequency of communication (or meeting) measures how often network members communicate (or meet) each other. The association of each social network measure with BMI was investigated by multiple linear regression analysis.

RESULTS: After adjusting for potential confounders, the men with lower density (<0.71) and higher network size (4-6) had the higher BMI (β=1.089, p=0.037) compared to the men with higher density (>0.83) and lower size (1-2), but not in the women (p=0.393). The lowest tertile of communication frequency was associated with higher BMI in the women (β=0.885, p=0.049), but not in the men (p=0.140).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that social network structure (network size and density) and activation (communication frequency and meeting frequency) are associated with obesity among the elderly. There may also be gender differences in this association
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Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Hyeon Chang(김현창) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7867-1240
Lee, Won Joon(이원준)
Rhee, Yumie(이유미) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4227-5638
Chu, Sang Hui(추상희) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6877-5599
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