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Fats, Fat and Death

Sunday, July 24, 2016 // Uncategorized

Here are a couple of recent articles dealing with the type of a fat in the diet and mortality and obesity and mortality.

Being Modestly Overweight Linked to Increased All-Cause Mortality Risk

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Being even modestly overweight is associated with increased mortality risk, according to a large meta-analysis in the Lancet. The finding calls into question prior research suggesting that a slightly elevated body-mass index might be protective.

Researchers examined individual participant data from 189 studies comprising nearly four million adults who had never smoked, had no known chronic conditions at baseline, and survived beyond 5 years of follow-up. Participants were from North America, Europe, Australia, and East Asia.

Overall, roughly 386,000 participants died. All-cause mortality was lowest at a BMI of 20.0–24.9 (normal weight) and then increased significantly and linearly beginning at a BMI of 25.0–27.4 (hazard ratio, 1.07). BMIs below 20.0 also posed increased risk. The findings were consistent across geographic regions, and associations between higher BMIs and mortality were greater in younger than older participants and in men than in women.

The authors write, “These findings suggest that if the overweight and obese population had WHO-defined normal levels of BMI, the proportion of premature deaths that could be avoided would be about one in five in North America.”

Dr. Harlan Krumholz of NEJM Journal Watch Cardiology commented: “What I really want to know is not average risk, but who has the most risk, if any, among those who are modestly overweight. Meanwhile, as a physician, my greatest emphasis regarding weight loss will remain on those with marked elevation of BMI, those with the highest risk.”

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