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Body Mass Index

 
 
 
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Overview

The body mass index (BMI) is used an an estimate of body habitus that assesses the patient's weight in the context of their height, allowing for a more accurate measurement.
However, the BMI has several limitations - particular in its overestimation of obesity in people with a significant amount of muscle bulk.
BMI =
WeightHeight²
  • Classification

  • Underweight - <18.5
  • Normal - 18.5 - 24.9
  • Overweight - 25 - 29.9
  • Obese - 30 - 34.9
  • Severely obese - 35 - 39.9
  • Morbidly obese - 40+

Increased Body Mass Index

Body mass index ≥ 25.
  • Associated with Obesity

  • Metabolic syndrome - type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidaemia
  • Ischaemic heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory - obstructive sleep apnoea, asthma
  • Gastrointestinal - reflux, cholelithiasis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Varicose veins
  • Gout

Reduced Body Mass Index

Body mass index <18.5
  • Associated with Being Underweight

  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Vitamin deficiency - scurvy, rickets
  • Bone marrow suppression - anaemia, thrombocytopaenia, immunosuppression
  • Cardiac - arrhythmia, MI
  • Neurological - cognitive impairment, peripheral neuropathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Muscle wasting
  • Endocrine - osteoporosis, amenorrhoea
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