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Does Body Mass Index Adequately Convey a Patient’s Mortality Risk?

by jmiller on January 9, 2013

“What adult weight best advances health, minimizes the risk of chronic disease and promotes longevity?”  This study confirms that the optimal BMI linked with lowest mortality in patients with chronic disease may be within the overweight and obesity range.  Even in the absence of chronic disease, small excess amounts of adipose may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated in light of Flegal’s study.”  However, the study confirms that obese individuals with a BMI of 35 or greater are at increased risk of mortality, as are their underweight counterparts with a BMI less than 18.5.”  (JAMA, Jan 2)  (click here to read full text).