In the end, that trend may be the most significant finding of all. When researchers used BMI to line up all of the 61,386 subjects who participated in the eight studies they pooled, they found that, as BMI rose, so did blood pressure, waist circumference and insulin resistance. As BMI increased, levels of HDL cholesterol, thought to protect against heart attack and stroke, decreased. Though overweight and obese subjects may not yet have reached the points that define metabolic illness, they appeared to be on that road as their weight rose.
“Increased BMI is not a benign condition, even in the absence of metabolic abnormalities,” the authors said in study released Monday.
The newest study does not give “normal weight” people a pass if they are metabolically unhealthy. In this aggregation of subjects from many different studies, the authors found that this group is just as likely as those who are obese and metabolically unhealthy to have a stroke or heart attack or die of any cause — a surprise, since it has long been assumed that the combination of obesity and metabolic dysfunction confers the greatest risk.
©2013 Los Angeles Times