Monday, August 1, 2011

BMI alone is not a good predictor of heart problems

New study out illustrates that Body Mass Index (BMI) alone is not an accurate predictor for cardiac problems:

They looked at medical information for over 200,000 people.

Their conclusion?

"BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, whether assessed singly or in combination, do not importantly improve cardiovascular disease risk prediction in people in developed countries when additional information is available for systolic blood pressure, history of diabetes, and lipids."

In plain English: look at the blood work, not the shape of the person. If your numbers--blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol--are good, don't let medical people browbeat you with where you are on the BMI chart.

Now I'm not saying don't eat well and don't exercise, but if you're living a healthy lifestyle and the numbers back you up, don't let anyone make you feel bad if you're not where the BMI says you should be.

That's how I'm reading these results, anyway.

And note, this study wasn't funded by a drug company--it's always important to read the "funding" or "supported by" statements on these things. It was funded by the British Heart Foundation (similar to the AHA in the US) and the UK Medical Research Council (another nonprofit). So there's no hidden shilling for a product.

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