Obese White Adults May Pay With Life: Study

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  December 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Once again it has been established that obesity means 'death knell' for many!

In a recent article published by a group of authors in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) it has been established that a high body mass index can have a 'killer' effect.

Body-mass index (BMI) is the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters.

For over a significant period of time, increased BMI has been  associated with a person's risk to develop cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers.

It has also been associated with increased mortality from these conditions. However the exact nature of the relationship between BMI and mortality has not been completely established.

Subjects & Method

A large studies carried out on 1.46 million white adults all belonging to the age group 19 to 84 years of age with a median age of the subjects was 58 yrs looked at the BMI and its relationship to mortality.

Details related to age, study, physical activity, education, alcohol consumption, and marital status was drawn from pooled data sourced from 19 prospective studies carried out for a span of ten years.

Cox regression was the method of choice to appraise the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for a link between BMI and all-cause mortality.


During the 10 year follow-up period a total of 160,087 deaths were identified and the following values were arrived at - 

18.5 to 19.9 1.14
20.0 to 22.4 1.00
25.0 to 29.9 1.13
30.0 to 34.9 1.44
35.0 to 39.9 1.88
40.0 to 49.9 2.51

• BMI of 22.5 to 24.9 was the reference category - in this group the hazard ratio among women was 1.47.

• The Median baseline BMI in this group was 26.2.

• For a BMI below 20.0 it was discovered that the health hazard ratio reduced with longer-term follow-up.

Hazard ratios for men and women studied were similar

Study Conclusions

• Overweight and obesity are linked to increased all-cause mortality in white adults

• All-cause mortality is the lowest in those with a BMI between 20.0 to 24.9.

Although the inference drawn from this study is not novel, it helps to re-establish the fact that obesity, which is totally integrated with modern-day existence, must be addressed on a war-time footing.

Otherwise, we may have to pay with our lives!

N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2211-2219 December 2, 2010.

Source: Medindia

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like