Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adverse consequences of obesity may be greater than previously thought

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The link between obesity and cardiovascular mortality may be substantially underestimated, while some of the adverse consequences of being underweight may be overstated, concludes a new study.

The link between obesity and cardiovascular mortality may be substantially underestimated, while some of the adverse consequences of being underweight may be overstated, concludes a study published online in the British Medical Journal.

This means that the adverse influence of higher BMI and obesity in a population is of greater magnitude than previously thought, say the authors.

Numerous studies have already investigated the link between body mass index (BMI) and mortality. They show that high BMI is associated with higher rates of death from cardiovascular causes, diabetes, and some cancers, while low BMI is associated with increased mortality from other causes, such as respiratory disease and lung cancer.

But there are inconsistencies in the evidence that low body mass index actually increases the risk of causes of death such as respiratory disease and lung cancer.

Some researchers argue that this association may be biased by a process called reverse causality, where a severe illness, such as lung cancer, leads to both weight loss and higher mortality. Other factors such as smoking and poor socioeconomic circumstances may also lead to biasing estimates. This is known as confounding.

So a team from the University of Bristol and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden set out to obtain a valid estimate of the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality by comparing, for over one million Swedish parent-son pairs, the BMI of the sons as young adults with mortality among their parents.

Using offspring BMI as an indicator of parental BMI avoids problems of reverse causality and is less influenced by confounding, explain the authors.

Their analysis shows strong associations between high offspring BMI (used as a so-called instrumental variable) and parental mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers, as reported in other studies of own BMI with mortality. However, unlike previous studies, there was no evidence of an association between low BMI and an increased risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality.

These findings suggest that the apparent adverse consequences of low BMI on respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, whereas the adverse consequences of higher BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be substantially underestimated, say the authors.

These conclusions have important implications for public health practice because they suggest that reducing population levels of overweight and obesity (or preventing their rise) will have a considerable benefit to population health, they add. Suggestions to the contrary, which have received considerable media attention over recent years, are probably misguided.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Adverse consequences of obesity may be greater than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222203007.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, December 23). Adverse consequences of obesity may be greater than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222203007.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Adverse consequences of obesity may be greater than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222203007.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins