Authors: Birken CS, Tu K, Oud W, Carsley S, Hanna M, Lebovic G, Guttmann A
Can Fam Physician. 2017 Feb;63(2):e114-e122
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of overweight and obese status in children by age, sex, and visit type, using data from EMRALD(Â®) (Electronic Medical Record Administrative data Linked Database).
DESIGN: Heights and weights were abstracted for children 0 to 19 years of age who had at least one well-child visit from January 2010 to December 2011. Using the most recent visit, the proportions and 95% CIs of patients defined as overweight and obese were compared by age group, sex, and visit type using the World Health Organization growth reference standards.
PARTICIPANTS: Children 0 to 19 years of age who were rostered to a primary care physician participating in EMRALD and had at least one well-child visit from January 2010 to December 2011.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion and 95% CI of children with overweight and obese status by age group; proportion of children with overweight and obese status by sex (with male sex as the referent) within each age group; and proportion of children with overweight and obese status at the most recent well-child visit type compared with other visit types by age group.
RESULTS: There were 28 083 well-child visits during this period. For children who attended well-child visits, 84.7% of visits had both a height and weight documented. Obesity rates were significantly higher in 1- to 4-year-olds compared with children younger than 1 (6.1% vs 2.3%; P < .001), and in 10- to 14-year-olds compared with 5- to 9-year-olds (12.0% vs 9.0%; P < .05). Both 1- to 4-year-old boys (7.2% vs 4.9%; P < .01) and 10- to 14-year-old boys (14.5% vs 9.6%; P < .05) had higher obesity rates compared with girls. Rates of overweight and obese status were lower using data from well-child visits compared with other visits.
CONCLUSION: Electronic medical records might be useful to conduct population-based surveillance of overweight or obese status in children. Methodologic standards, however, should be developed.