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Article
March 11, 1988

Body Mass Index and Mortality Among Nonsmoking Older PersonsThe Framingham Heart Study

Author Affiliations

From the National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md (Dr Harris); the Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology and General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Cook and Goldman); the Epidemiology and Biometry Program, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md (Mr Garrison and Dr Higgins); the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (Dr Kannel); and the Framingham (Mass) Heart Study (Dr Kannel).

From the National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md (Dr Harris); the Divisions of Clinical Epidemiology and General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (Drs Cook and Goldman); the Epidemiology and Biometry Program, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md (Mr Garrison and Dr Higgins); the Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (Dr Kannel); and the Framingham (Mass) Heart Study (Dr Kannel).

JAMA. 1988;259(10):1520-1524. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720100038035
Abstract

The relationship of weight at age 65 years and subsequent mortality was examined in a population of 1723 nonsmokers who were followed up from one to 23 years (mean, 9.5 years) during the Framingham Heart Study. In sex-specific proportional hazards analyses, risks of mortality were increased for men and women at the high and low extremes of body mass index, even when accounting for potential effects of excess weight on serum cholesterol level, blood glucose level, and systolic blood pressure. For those at the lower extreme of body mass index, the relative risk of death was almost twice as high in the years immediately after age 65 years as in later follow-up, suggesting that the increased early death rate was due to disease that was already present. At the upper extreme, risk of death was twofold over the entire follow-up period for persons with body mass indexes at or above the 70th percentile at both 55 and 65 years of age. We conclude that, even when accounting for cardiovascular risk factors, being overweight is a serious health problem for older people, especially for those with long-standing weight problems.

(JAMA 1988;259:1520-1524)

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