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Body Mass Index as Heart Disease Predictor

Posted Dec 17 2012 10:07pm
Posted on Dec. 14, 2012, 6 a.m. in Weight and Obesity Cardio-Vascular

Cardiovascular risk prediction models – including the Framingham Risk Score and the European SCORE (Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation) method – consider traditional modifiable risk factors like smoking, high blood pressure, and blood lipid concentrations, but not body mass index (BMI). David Faeh, from the University of Zurich (Switzerland), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 17,791 men and women, ages 16 years and older, who were enrolled in either the National Research Program 1A or the Swiss MONICA (Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease) population survey. The researchers linked that data to Swiss national censuses and registries to obtain follow-up data. The team found that replacing total cholesterol level with BMI in the SCORE tool resulted in higher predicted 10-year risks of cardiovascular disease across age groups and better discrimination between patients at high and low risk.  In the MONICA subjects, they found that only BMI was significantly associated with mortality during follow-up.   The researchers submit that blood-based tests to measure lipids may be inconvenient or difficult for patients; and that the more available data on patient height and weight may be valuable to permit greater use of methods for calculating cardiovascular risk.

Faeh D, Braun J, Bopp M. "Body mass index versus cholesterol in cardiovascular disease risk prediction models." Arch Intern Med, November 2012.

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