BMI and mortality: Results from a national longitudinal study of canadian adults

Heather M. Orpana, Jean Marie Berthelot, Mark S. Kaplan, David H. Feeny, Bentson McFarland, Nancy A. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Although a clear risk of mortality is associated with obesity, the risk of mortality associated with overweight is equivocal. The objective of this study is to estimate the relationship between BMI and all-cause mortality in a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults. A sample of 11,326 respondents aged 25 in the 1994/1995 National Population Health Survey (Canada) was studied using Cox proportional hazards models. A significant increased risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up was observed for underweight (BMI 18.5; relative risk (RR) = 1.73, P 0.001) and obesity class II (BMI 35; RR = 1.36, P 0.05). Overweight (BMI 25 to 30) was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death (RR = 0.83, P 0.05). The RR was close to one for obesity class I (BMI 30-35; RR = 0.95, P 0.05). Our results are similar to those from other recent studies, confirming that underweight and obesity class II are clear risk factors for mortality, and showing that when compared to the acceptable BMI category, overweight appears to be protective against mortality. Obesity class I was not associated with an increased risk of mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-218
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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