Public Release: 

Body mass index and coronary heart disease

BioMed Central

Coronary heart disease (CHD) increases with BMI, as well as with age, finds an article published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. The research from the Million Women Study indicates that increased weight increases risk of CHD equivalent to that caused by getting older.

Researchers from the University of Oxford followed the health of 1.2 million women from England and Scotland for (on average) almost a decade. Analysis of the data showed that the occurrence of CHD increases with BMI so that every 5 unit increase in BMI, calculated as weight/height2, increases incidence by 23%, which is equivalent to the risk conferred by getting older by 2.5 years.

The results showed that one in eleven lean middle aged women (with an average BMI of 21) will be admitted to hospital or will have died from CHD between the ages of 55 to 74. This risk progressively increases with BMI, and it reaches one in six, for obese women (with an average BMI of 34).

Dr Dexter Canoy, who led this study explained, "The risk of developing CHD increases even with small incremental increases in BMI, and this is seen not only in the heaviest but also in women who are not usually considered obese. Small changes in BMI, together with leading a healthy lifestyle by not smoking, avoiding excess alcohol consumption, and being physically active could potentially prevent the occurrence of CHD for a large number of people in the population."

###

Media contact

Dr Hilary Glover
Scientific Press Officer, BioMed Central
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2370
Mob: +44 (0) 778 698 1967
Email: hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com

Notes

1. Body mass index and incident coronary heart disease in women: a population-based prospective study Dexter Canoy, Benjamin J Cairns, Angela Balkwill, F. Lucy Wright, Jane Green, Gillian Reeves, Valerie Beral and Million Women Study Collaborators BMC Medicine 2013, 11:87 10.1186/1741-7015-11-87

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.

2. BMC Medicine is the flagship medical journal of the BMC series, publishing original research, commentaries and reviews that are either of significant interest to all areas of medicine and clinical practice, or provide key translational or clinical advances in a specific field. @BMCMedicine

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.