Knowledge of Obesity’s Health Related Outcomes among Hispanic Women living in Puerto Rico

Sofia Vivoni, Francisco Garratón, Maria Carro, Lorena González-Sepúlveda, Josefina Romaguera, Sharee Umpierre


Objective: The primary aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess, according to previous cancer diagnosis, the knowledge Puerto Rican women have on the link between obesity-endometrial, -breast, and colon cancer, and determine women’s most common source for medical information. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, eligible female patients (n=234) from the Gynecology and Gynecology-Oncology Clinics completed a self-administered survey from October 2014 to March 2016. Participants were evaluated on sociodemographic, body mass index, knowledge of the obesity-cancer link, and source of medical information. Results: About 49% and 31% of women in the study were obese and overweight, respectively. Less than 52% of the women knew about the link between obesity-breast,-colon, and/or -endometrial cancers. Women with previous cancer diagnoses were more likely aware of the association between obesity-colon cancer than women without previous cancer diagnoses (58% vs. 44%, p<0.05); no differences were found for breast and endometrial cancer (p>0.05). Higher incomes showed increased odds for the knowledge obesity-cancer link among women with a cancer history, but the odds decreased for women without previous cancer diagnoses (p>0.05). Higher education showed a trend towards a better knowledge of the obesity-cancer association. The most common sources of information were the primary doctor (80%) and the internet (54%). Conclusion: Counseling about preventable cancer risk factors through primary care to all women must be encouraged especially in young healthy females. Further studies should address qualitative aspects of the odds differences in the obesity-cancer link knowledge observed between income categories for women with/without previous cancer diagnoses.


Obesity; Endometrial Cancer; Breast Cancer; Knowledge; Puerto Rico; Hispanics; Women; Survey

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