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BMI <22.5 and >25 predicted higher overall mortality in adults

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What is the association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality in adults?

Review scope

Included studies provided data on BMI and death. Analyses excluded people with BMI <15 kg/m2 or ⩾50 kg/m2 or history of heart disease or stroke. Outcomes were overall mortality and cause-specific mortality (>50 specific causes of death).

Review methods

{Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and conference abstracts were searched and investigators were contacted}* for prospective studies. 57 studies (n = 894 576, mean age 46 y, 61% men) met the selection criteria.

Main results

BMI ranging from 22.5 to 25 kg/m2 was associated with lowest overall mortality. In people with BMIs of 25–50 kg/m2, each 5 kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with 30% higher overall …

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  • Source of funding: UK Medical Research Council; British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; European Union BIOMED; National Institute on Aging; Clinical Trial Service Unit.