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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 159123, 10 pages
Research Article

The Epidemiological Boehringer Ingelheim Employee Study—Part I: Impact of Overweight and Obesity on Cardiometabolic Risk

1West-German Centre of Diabetes and Health, Düsseldorf Catholic Hospital Group, 40591 Düsseldorf, Germany
2Department of Medical Statistics, RWTH-Aachen University, 52062 Aachen, Germany
3Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH, 55218 Ingelheim, Germany
4Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, 55218 Ingelheim, Germany
5mediStatistica, 58809 Neuenrade, Germany
6Medical Corporate Department, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, 55218 Ingelheim, Germany
7Mannheim Institute for Public Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, 68131 Mannheim, Germany

Received 8 April 2013; Revised 25 June 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editor: Rob Van Dam

Copyright © 2013 Kerstin Kempf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Obesity-dependent diseases cause economic burden to companies. Large-scale data for working populations are lacking. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in the Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) Employee cohort and the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cardiometabolic risk factors and diseases were estimated. Design and Methods. Employees (≥38 years, employed in Ingelheim ≥2 years; ) of BI Pharma GmbH & Co. KG were invited by the medical corporate department to participate in intensive health checkups. Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data collected through 2006–2011 was performed. Results. 90% of eligible subjects participated ( ). Prevalences of overweight and obesity were 40% and 18% and significantly higher in men and participants ≥50 years. Cardiometabolic risk factor levels and prevalences of cardiometabolic diseases significantly increased with BMI and were higher in overweight and obese participants. Cut-points for increased risk estimated from ROC curves were 25 kg/m2 for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, arteriosclerosis, and hypertriglyceridemia and 26.7–28.0 kg/m2 for the metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, increased intima media thickness, and type 2 diabetes. Conclusion. This is the first large-scale occupational health care cohort from a single company. Cardiometabolic risk factors and diseases accumulate with increasing BMI. Occupational weight reduction programs seem to be reasonable strategies.