In this month’s volume of BMC Medicine, the latest results from the Million Women Study analyse the relationship between age, BMI, and coronary heart disease. In the study by the University of Oxford, some 1.2 million women from England and Scotland were monitored for around ten years.
Just under 10% of lean women of middle age (BMI 21 on average) will have one or more hospital admission for coronary heart disease between the age of 54 and 74. Those with a higher BMI have a higher risk, reaching 16% for those with a BMI of 34 (classified obsese).
Commenting on the study he led, Dr. Dexter Canoy explains that “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”.
The study, which concludes that CHD incidence in women increases progressively with BMI, being an association consistently seen in different subgroups, is published here: