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Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia

Print version ISSN 0066-782X

Arq. Bras. Cardiol. vol.96 no.3 São Paulo Mar. 2011 



Body mass index in adult and elderly individuals



Karine Zortéa; Mariana Lerch Belomé da Silva

Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil

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Keywords: Body mass index; metabolic syndrome; adult; aged.



Dear Editor,

Bopp et al1 state that a large part of the studied population presents excess weight and metabolic syndrome; however, it is necessary to observe that they use a single classification of body mass index (BMI) for adult and elderly individuals.

To evaluate the nutritional status of individuals through the BMI is a simple and important method in population-based studies, including the ones involving the elderly2. However, it is important to respect the different recommended classifications, so that there is no discrepancy between the methodologies employed in the studies, measurement biases or even type I errors, where a significance is present in the sample, when this difference in the population actually does not exist3.

The use of BMI and its cutoffs adopted for the analysis of Malnutrition, Eutrophia and Obesity in the elderly has been broadly discussed. For this age range, a BMI between 22 and 27 kg/m2 is considered Eutrophia. BMI levels < 22 and > 27 kg/m2 are classified as low weight and excess weight, respectively2. Whereas for adults, the BMI considered to be adequate is between 18.5 and 24.99 kg/m2, according to the World Health Organization4. The differences between these cutoffs are due to the body alterations seen at different age ranges, such as the decrease in the lean mass and increase in adipose tissue caused by the aging process.

Life expectancy has been increasing greatly. In parallel, the number of individuals with chronic diseases has also been increasing, mainly cardiovascular diseases, which are currently the main cause of death worldwide5. In this context, studies such as the one by Bopp end cols. are of utmost importance to contextualize the high prevalence of risk factors in specific populations.



1. Bopp M, Barbiero S. Prevalência de síndrome metabólica em pacientes de um ambulatório do Instituto de Cardiologia do Rio Grande do Sul (RS). Arq Bras Cardiol. 2009;93(5):473-7.         [ Links ]

2. Cervi A, Franceschini SCC, Priore SE. Análise crítica do uso do índice de massa corporal para idosos. Rev Nutr Campinas. 2005;18(6):765-75.         [ Links ]

3. World Health Organization (WHO). Physical Status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Geneva: WHO; 1995.         [ Links ]

4. World Health Organization (WHO). Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Geneva: Program of Nutrition, Family and Reproductive Health; 1998.         [ Links ]

5. Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, Bautista L, Franzosi MG, Commerford P, et al. Obesity and the risk of myocardial infarction in 27,000 participants from 52 countries: a case-control study. Lancet. 2005;366(9497):1640-9.         [ Links ]



Mailing address:
Karine Zortéa
Av. Protásio Alves, 7157/ 203A - Petrópolis
91310-003 - Porto Alegre, RS - Brazil

Manuscript received April 04, 2010; revised mansucript received April 04, 2010; accepted April 26, 2010.

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