The relationship between body mass index (BMI) appears to be stronger in adults without diabetes than those with existing diabetes. These findings are published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in a study by Chandra Jackson of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues. The researchers suggest that studies on body weight and mortality should take into account the impact of diabetes status in the population.
In their analysis, Jackson's team used data from a nationally representative sample of 74,710 Black and White American adults between 35 and 75 years old who were part of the National Health Interview Survey. Of the participants, 5 percent reported physician-diagnosed diabetes. The participants were followed over a six-year period and death was confirmed by the National Death Index.
The so-called body-mass index (or BMI) takes height and weight into account to measure a person's body fatness. Someone with a high body-mass index is generally considered to have a higher risk of death, and to experience a poorer health-related quality of life.
Obesity, which is defined as BMI≥30, is a serious public health issue in the United States. Obesity is a well-established risk factor for various serious and costly health conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. People with excess adiposity or body fat are generally considered to have a significantly higher risk of death than others in a normal weight population. However, the relationship between mortality and BMI in diseased populations is still unclear and remains a controversial topic.
The results of the study suggest that weight may have a different impact on mortality for diabetics than for the general population. Throughout, death rates were substantially higher among diabetics than nondiabetics. However, compared to individuals with normal weight, at a higher body weight, death rates dipped considerably for diab
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