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Epidemiology. 2010 Jan;21(1):82-6. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181c1fa2d.

Body mass index and risk of suicide among one million US adults.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02446, USA.



Body mass index (BMI) has been linked with both increased and decreased risk of suicide attempts and deaths.


In a prospective cohort study of 1.1 million adults, participants reported their anthropometric and other characteristics in 1982. Participants were followed for cause-specific mortality through 2004.


A total of 2231 participants died of suicide during 21.6 million person-years of follow-up. Compared with a BMI of 18.5-22.9 kg/m(2), adjusted hazard ratios for completed suicide were 0.99 (95% confidence interval = 0.72-1.37), 0.78 (0.69-0.88), 0.73 (0.65-0.82), 0.72 (0.62-0.83), 0.77 (0.65-0.92), and 0.55 (0.36-0.83) for BMI values <18.5, 23.0-24.9, 25.0-27.4, 27.5-29.9, 30.0-34.9, and >or=35.0 kg/m(2), respectively. The relationship was consistent among men and women and across geographic regions, but was limited to married individuals (test for interaction, P = 0.009).


The risk of death from suicide is inversely related to BMI in middle-aged and older adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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