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The body mass index (BMI) as a public health tool to predict metabolic syndrome

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Author(s): Julia Reyes-Reali | Santiago C. Sigrist-Flores | Adolfo René Méndez-Cruz | María Isabel Mendoza-Ramos | Miguel Murguía-Romero | Rafael Jiménez-Flores | Rafael Villalobos-Molina

Journal: Journal of Biophysical Chemistry
ISSN 2153-036X

Volume: 02;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: BMI | Metabolic Syndrome | Obesity | Public Health Tool

ABSTRACT
Objective: To analyze the body mass index (BMI) as an indicator of metabolic alterations, including the metabolic syndrome (MetS), at both individual level and public health level. Method: We recruited 3683 undergraduate students (17 - 24 years old) from México City identifying metabolic alterations, including the MetS, and comparing its prevalence by BMI ranges. We applied a sensitivity analysis to define BMI optimal cut-off point values. Results: We found 14.6% of MetS prevalence with a BMI average of 24.2%, and 34.5% of overweight prevalence (BMI ≥ 25). A BMI cut-off point value of 22.5 is suggested as an upper limit of a normal weight condition, only for public health purpose; while at individual level the BMI cut-off point of 25 was corroborated as the upper limit for a normal weight condition. A public health tool to estimate the MetS prevalence based on BMI percentages is proposed, and a study case is presented. Conclusion: BMI fails predicting at individual level both, healthy condition or metabolic alterations, when values are lower than 25. At population level, the BMI is a valuable public health tool to estimate MetS prevalence: based on the prevalence of MetS by BMI ranges of a sample of the population.
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