Drs Whitlock and Lewington raise some important questions regarding our recently published article on the relationship between BMI and the development of chronic diseases.1 We appreciate the opportunity to clarify several issues that arise when comparing the results from our recent article to those from previous investigations in the Nurses' Health Study (beginning in 1976) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (beginning in 1986). To ensure that sex differences in our current report were not due to secular trends, we restricted the analysis to 1986 through 1996 in both cohorts. Therefore, chronic disease end points that occurred among the nurses before 1986 and included in our previous report were excluded from the current analyses.
Field AE, Coakley EH, Must A, Spadano JL, Laird N, Rimm E, Colditz GA. Surprising Evidence About Associations Between Body Mass Index and Risks of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(21):2491. doi: