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    The lowest risk of death is assocated with a BMI of 21 in younger women, 23 in younger men


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Saturday, January 14, 2006 2:06 pm Email this article
    Numerous studies have found that being overweight increases the risk of death. A new study from the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that in younger women, the risk of death increases when body mass index (BMI) exceeds 21, and in older women, when BMI exceeds 25. In younger men, the risk increases when BMI exceeds 23, whereas in older men, the risk does not increase until BMI exceeds 30. RISK OF DEATH

    Risk of death associated with Body Mass Index (BMI)

    Here are tables showing the risk of death associated with various body mass index (BMI) in men and women who have never smoked.

    In order to try account for underlying disease, such as cancer, which might cause a person to be thin and die sooner, the study excluded data from anyone who died within the first five years.

     

    Body Mass Index (BMI) versus Risk of Death in
    ——— WOMEN ———
    Who Never Smoked, Excluding the First 5 Years
    Body Mass Index
    Women younger than 55-years-old
    Women 55-years-old or older
    Less than 18.5
    36% greater risk of death
    67% greater risk of death
    18.5 to 20.9
    lowest risk of death
    29% greater risk of death
    21 to 22.9
    35% greater risk of death
    lowest risk of death
    23 to 24.9
    35% greater risk of death
    36% greater risk of death
    25 to 26.9
    76% greater risk of death
    29-30% greater risk of death
    27 to 29.9
    109% greater risk of death
    30 to 34.9
    9% greater risk of death
    35 or more
    136% greater risk of death
    234% greater risk of death

     

    Body Mass Index (BMI) versus Risk of Death in
    ——— MEN ———
    Who Never Smoked, Excluding the First 5 Years
    Body Mass Index
    MEN younger than 55-years-old
    MEN 55-years-old or older
    Less than 18.5
    no data for this category
    21% greater risk of death
    18.5 to 20.9
    30% greater risk of death
    74% greater risk of death
    21 to 22.9
    lowest risk of death
    75% greater risk of death
    23 to 24.9
    19% greater risk of death
    60% greater risk of death
    25 to 26.9
    17% greater risk of death
    lowest risk of death
    27 to 29.9
    17% greater risk of death
    19% greater risk of death
    30 to 34.9
    91% greater risk of death
    182% greater risk of death
    35 or more
    315% greater risk of death
    446% greater risk of death

     

    BMI TABLE

    BMI Table

    A BMI Table can be found here.

     

    WOMEN UNDER 55-YEARS-OLD

    Women under 55, BMI 18.5-21, lowest risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, the risk of death is lowest for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 20.9.

    Women under 55, BMI less than 18.5, 36% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of less than 18.5 increases the risk of death by 36 percent compared to those with a BMI of 18.5 to 20.9.

    Women under 55, BMI 23-25, 35% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 23 to 24.9 increases the risk of death by 35 percent.

    Women under 55, BMI 25-27, 76% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 25 to 26.9 increases the risk of death by 76 percent.

    Women under 55, BMI 27-30, 109% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 27 to 29.9 increases the risk of death by 109 percent (2.1 times greater risk of death).

    Women under 55, BMI 30-35, 9% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 30 to 34.9 increases the risk of death by 9 percent (yes, 9%; I’m not sure why so little for this group).

    Women under 55, BMI 35 or more, 136% greater risk of death

    In women under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 35 or more increases the risk of death by 136 percent (2.4 times greater risk of death).

     

    WOMEN OVER 55-YEARS-OLD

    Women over 55, BMI 21-25, lowest risk of death

    In women over the age of 55 who have never smoked, the risk of death is lowest for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 21 to 24.9.

    Women over 55, BMI 18.5-21, 29% greater risk of death

    In women over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 18.5 to 20.9 increases the risk of death by 29 percent.

    Women over 55, BMI less than 18.5, 67% greater risk of death

    In women over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of less than 18.5 increases the risk of death by 67 percent.

    Women over 55, BMI 25-35, 29-30% greater risk of death

    In women over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 25 to 34.9 increases the risk of death by 29-30 percent.

    Women over 55, BMI 35 or more, 234% greater risk of death

    In women over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 35 or more increases the risk of death by 234 percent (3.3 times greater risk of death).

     

    MEN UNDER 55-YEARS-OLD

    Men under 55, BMI 21-23, lowest risk of death

    In men under the age of 55 who have never smoked, the risk of death is lowest for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 21 to 22.9.

    Men under 55, BMI 21-23, 30% greater risk

    In men under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of less than 20.9 increases the risk of death by 30 percent compared to those with a BMI of 21 to 22.9.

    Men under 55, BMI 23-30, 17-19% greater risk

    In men under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 23 to 29.9 increases the risk of death by 17-19 percent.

    Men under 55, BMI 30-35, 91% greater risk

    In men under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 30 to 34.9 increases the risk of death by 91 percent.

    Men under 55, BMI 35 or more, 315% greater risk

    In men under the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 35 or more increases the risk of death by 315 percent (4.2 times greater risk of death).

     

    MEN OVER 55-YEARS-OLD

    Men over 55, less than 30, no increased risk of death

    In men over the age of 55 who have never smoked, the risk of death is lowest for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 29.9 or less (really).

    There was no increased risk of death in this group in very lean older men as was the case with older women.

    Men over 55, BMI 30-35, 61-182% greater risk

    In men over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 30 to 34.9 increases the risk of death by 61-182 percent (as much as 2.8 times greater risk of death).

    Men over 55, BMI 35 or more, 211-446% greater risk

    In men over the age of 55 who have never smoked, having a BMI of 35 or more increases the risk of death by 211-446 percent (3.1 to 5.5 times greater risk of death).

     

    EARLY DEATHS EXCLUDED

    Deaths occurring in first 5 years excluded

    Any deaths occurring in the first five years were excluded.

    This is done in order to account for underlying diseases that have not been detected.

     

    RISK ASSOCIATED WITH BEING TOO LEAN

    Possible explanations for increased death in those who are extremely lean

    Women who are too lean when they are older, that is having a BMI of less than 18.5, is associated with an increased risk of death.

    Possible explanations: nutritional deficiencies, impaired immunity, underlying disease

    Possible reasons for this according to the paper, including possible nutritional deficiencies or impaired immunity as well as the possibility of underlying disease that cause both thinness and an increased risk of death.

    Excluding data from people who died in the first 5 years may not completely catch all cases of underlying disease.

     

    BODY FAT BETTER THAN BMI?

    Belly fat may be a better predictor of death than BMI

    Measuring belly fat may be a better predictor of death than BMI or total fat according to the authors.

    “[S]ome studies have found that the waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR) or waist circumference is a better marker of mortality risk than BMI in older adults,” the paper notes.

    “Several studies have also found that abdominal adiposity, as measured by WHR or waist circumference, is a better marker than BMI in older persons for cardiovascular disease,” they continue.

    Muscle strength may be a better predictor of longevity than BMI

    “At least one study found that muscle strength may be a better predictor of long-term mortality than BMI in healthy middle-aged men,” the paper also notes.

    Body fat may be better predictor than BMI

    “Thus, the J-shaped association between BMI and mortality in older adults may not provide appropriate guidance on optimal weight as people age. Rather, other measures of adiposity [fatness] or body composition may be more directly related to actual biological risk factors,” the paper concludes.

     

    CONCLUSION

    Conclusion: Increasing body weight increases risk of death in younger people, obesity increases the risk of death in older people

    The authors concluded by saying that in younger adults, increasing body weight increases the risk of death.

    In older people, being obese increases the risk of death, but being overweight seems to have less of an impact on risk than in younger people.

    “In summary, our findings support a strong, direct relationship between mortality and BMI in adults under the age of 55 years and between mortality and obesity among both younger and older adults,” the paper concludes.

    “The more complicated relationship between BMI and mortality in older subjects, however, suggests the importance of assessing whether other markers of body size and composition, including adiposity, better explain mortality risk in older adults.”

    REFERENCE

    Freedman D, Ron E, Ballard-Barbash R, Doody M, Linet M. Body mass index and all-cause mortality in a nationwide us cohort. Int J Obes (Lond). 2006 Jan 10.

    AUTHOR’S CORRESPONDENCE

    Dr. D. M. Freedman
    Radiation Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
    National Cancer Institute
    Executive Plaza South, Room 7036
    6120 Executive Boulevard
    Bethesda, MD 20892 USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    COMMENTS

    On Jan 28, 2006 at 4:37 am Randy Smith, MD wrote:

    . . . . .

    Very interesting article - it really demonstrates the exponential increase in mortality with increasing BMI in the obese range.

    http://www.antiagingatlanta.com

    Please feel free to share your comments about this article.


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