Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study confirms body weight influences risk of death among Asians

24.02.2011
A study of more than 1 million Asians found that those who were a normal weight were far less likely to die from any cause than individuals whose body-mass index (BMI) was too high or low. A similar association was seen between BMI and the risk of death from cancer, cardiovascular disease or other causes.

The study, led by Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn., Paolo Boffetta, M.D., M.P.H., professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y., and John D. Potter, M.D., Ph.D., member and senior adviser, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash., was published in this week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"Previous studies that evaluated the association between BMI and the risk of death have been conducted primarily in populations of European descent, and the current definition of overweight and obesity is based essentially on criteria derived from those studies," said Zheng, director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center. "The validity of these criteria in Asian populations has yet to be determined. A large proportion of Asians are very thin and the impact of a severely low BMI on the risk of death has not been well evaluated until now."

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 billion adults worldwide are overweight and at least 300 million are obese. Fat tissue has been recognized as an active endocrine organ, capable of releasing a number of biologically active factors that may contribute to obesity-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke and several types of cancer.

The research, conducted as part of the Asia Cohort Consortium, included health status and mortality information on more than 1.1 million individuals from East and South Asia. In the cohorts of East Asians, including Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, the lowest risk of death was seen among individuals with a BMI in the range of 22.6 to 27.5, which is considered normal to slightly overweight (BMI is defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters).

Chinese, Japanese and Korean populations were much like groups in other parts of the world. These East Asians with a raised BMI of 35.0 or higher had a 50 percent higher risk of death. The same was not true for Indians and Bangladeshis, indicating that a high BMI did not affect all ethnic groups in a similar way.

Being severely underweight was even more dangerous among all of the Asian populations studied. The risk of death was increased by a factor of 2.8 among those whose BMI was very low, that is, 15.0 or less.

"The most unexpected finding was that obesity among sub-continent Indians was not associated with excess mortality," said Potter. "This may be because many obese people in sub-continent India have a higher socioeconomic status and so have better access to health care."

"Our findings capture two different aspects of a rapidly evolving pattern; severe underweight was highly prevalent in Asia in the past, and we can still observe its important impact on mortality," explained Boffetta. "Looking into the future, however, prevention of overweight and obesity deserves the highest priority."

The authors conclude that this study provides strong evidence supporting the biologic plausibility that excess weight contributes to a higher risk of death.

"This confirms that most people are at a higher risk for dying early if they are obese and is a clear message not to gain weight as we age," said Potter.

Nearly 50 researchers from seven countries contributed to this study. Data analysis for the project was conducted by the Asia Cohort Consortium Coordinating Center, which is supported, in part, by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the National Cancer Institute.

Dagny Stuart | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>