BMI of 25 or More Ups Mortality Among Black Women

Waist circumference tied to increased risk of death from any cause in non-obese black women

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For black women, the risk of death from any cause increases with an increasing body mass index (BMI) of 25.0 kg/m² or higher, and having a large waist circumference is associated with an increased risk of death among non-obese women, according to a study published in the Sept. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Deborah A. Boggs, Sc.D., from Boston University, and colleagues investigated the relation of both BMI and waist circumference to the risk of death among 51,695 black women (aged 21 to 69 years at enrollment) with no history of cancer or cardiovascular disease. Follow-up data from 1995 to 2008 in the Black Womens Health Study was used for the analysis. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable proportional hazard models.

The investigators identified 1,773 deaths, of which 770 occurred among 33,916 nonsmoking women. A BMI of 20.0 to 24.9 kg/m² among nonsmokers predicted the lowest risk of death, which increased with an increase in BMI above this range. Using a BMI of 22.5 to 24.9 kg/m² as a reference category, the adjusted HRs and 95 percent CIs were 1.12 (0.87 to 1.44) for a BMI of 25.0 to 27.4 kg/m²; 1.31 (1.01 to 1.72) for a BMI of 27.5 to 29.9 kg/m²; 1.27 (0.99 to 1.64) for a BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 kg/m²; 1.51 (1.13 to 2.02) for a BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 kg/m²; and 2.19 (1.62 to 2.95) for a BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 kg/m². Among women with a BMI of less than 30.0 kg/m², a large waist circumference was correlated with an increased risk of death from any cause.

"The risk of death from any cause among black women increased with an increasing BMI of 25.0 or higher," the authors write.

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