X-Message-Number: 11897
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 1999 14:05:54 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: dieting may increase mortality in humans

  Yaari S.  Goldbourt U.
  Computing Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.
  Voluntary and involuntary weight loss: associations with long term
  mortality in 9,228 middle-aged and elderly men.
  American Journal of Epidemiology.  148(6):546-55, 1998 Sep 15.
  Recent studies have suggested that weight loss in middle-aged persons
  antecedes increased mortality. Therefore, the authors sought
  to examine the association between changes in body weight and subsequent
  mortality, according to self-reported
  dieting status. The authors followed 9,228 men aged 40-65
  years in 1963, for whom weight changes between 1963 and 1968 were recorded
  and extensive clinical, anthropometric, biochemical, and dietary assessments
  were made. Of these men, 2,471 reported being on a diet when first examined
  in 1963, and 636 were dieting primarily to lose weight.
  Mortality follow-up covered an 18-year period (1968-1986).
  Men who lost 5 kg or more between 1963 and 1968 ("extreme weight losers")
  exhibited the following age-pooled risks of mortality
  relative to the stable weight group: for total mortality,
  1.36 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20-1.55); for all cardiovascular disease
  mortality, 1.40 (95% CI 1.16-1.69); for all
  non-cardiovascular disease mortality, 1.33 (95% CI
  1.11-1.59); for coronary heart disease mortality, 1.55 (95%
  CI 1.25-1.93); and for cancer mortality, 0.90 (95% CI
  0.65-1.24). After adjustment for differences in coronary heart disease risk
  factor levels and morbidity between these groups at the end of the weight
  change period (1968), the excess risks associated with extreme weight loss
  declined by approximately one third. They declined further if adjustment was
  made for 1963 (pre-weight-change period) morbidity and risk factor levels.
  Being on a slimming diet, as reported in 1963, was associated with an
  approximate doubling of excess mortality in men with extreme
  weight loss. Weight loss in 1963-1968 coincided with an increased incidence
  of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus and a declining level of
  serum total cholesterol. This and other studies indicate that both voluntary
  and involuntary weight loss might be associated with a small increase in the
  risk of all-cause mortality.

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