Diabetes Collides with Body Mass Index

High BMI may lead to diabetes and coronary heart disease

(RxWiki News) Current  body mass index ( BMI) recommendations may not be right for avoiding diabetes and obesity related disorders.

A 17 year prospective study concerning Israeli soldiers suggests just that.  Soldiers with an elevated BMI but still well within the range currently considered normal, which is a BMI between 18.5-25, still had a substantial risk for obesity related disorders in midlife.

"Keep your BMI in the low-to-normal range."

The research scientists found that high normal BMI in adolescents continuing into adulthood was a significant predictor for both coronary artery disease and diabetes.

The diabetes onset was mainly associated with increased BMI close to the time of diagnosis, but the risk of developing coronary heart disease was influenced by both adolescent and adult higher BMI.

The study's results showed only elevated BMI in adulthood was associated with diabetes. Elevated BMI in adolescence and adulthood were both associated with coronary heart disease. 

The scientists found that higher BMI in adolescents continuing into adulthood was a significant predictor for both coronary artery disease and diabetes.

They are also hypothesizing that events leading to incident of coronary heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis, are more gradual than those leading to diabetes.

 In Depth

  •  Study followed 37,674  healthy young Israeli soldiers
  •  First measurement was taken when soldiers were 17 years old.
  •  Their BMI and weight trajectory was covered over a 17 year period.  
  •  1,173 incidents of type 2 diabetes developed before the age of 35
  •  327 incidents of coronary heart disease developed before the age of 35
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Review Date: 
April 10, 2011