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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):333-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.253. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

Individual and aggregate years-of-life-lost associated with overweight and obesity.

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RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.


This study presents nationally representative estimates of individual and aggregate years-of-life-lost (YLLs) associated with overweight and three categories of obesity separately by age, race, smoking status, and gender strata. Using proportional hazards analysis and data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Linked Mortality Files, we estimated life expectancies for each BMI strata and quantified YLLs by comparing differences between each strata and the normal BMI reference group. Our results provide further evidence that overweight and mild obesity are not associated with a reduction in life expectancy. However, higher BMI categories are associated with lower expected survival. In aggregate, excess BMI is responsible for approximately 95 million YLLs. White females account for more than two-thirds of the aggregate YLLs. Unless something is done to reduce the rising prevalence of those with BMIs >35, or to mitigate the impact of obesity or its correlates on YLLs, expected life expectancy for US adults may decrease in the future.

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