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March 19, 2008

Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Mortality, and Overweight

JAMA. 2008;299(11):1260-1261. doi:10.1001/jama.299.11.1260-c

To the Editor: The need for concern regarding epidemic US obesity trends was highlighted by the study by Dr Flegal and colleagues1 that confirmed the association between obesity and mortality from cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Furthermore, individuals with severe obesity have particularly high mortality from cardiovascular and noncancer noncardiovascular causes. However, the results should not be interpreted to suggest that overweight does not confer health risk. Considerable data link overweight with coronary heart disease,2,3 as well as incident hypertension3-5 and diabetes,3-5 2 cardiovascular risk factors with established morbidity and mortality consequences. They are likely to mediate much of the effects of overweight body mass index on long-term mortality.