PMID: 2072073Jun 1, 1991Paper

Overweight and stroke in the Whitehall study

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
R ShintonG Rose


The aim was to examine the risk of increasing overweight for death from stroke. This was a prospective cohort study, in which the main outcome measure was the mortality ratio for stroke with increasing body mass index. Civil service departments, Whitehall, London. Participants were 17,753 men aged 40 to 64 years. 208 stroke deaths were recorded. Men aged 40 to 54 in the most overweight quintile of body mass index had a mortality ratio of 2.01 (95% confidence interval 0.9 to 4.7) compared to the thinnest quintile. The mortality ratio was 1.19 (95% CI 0.7 to 2.0) in men aged 55 to 64. The increase in risk was more apparent in non-smokers: age adjusted mortality ratio 2.58 (95% CI 1.2 to 5.7). When smoking status and overweight were considered in combination a gradient of the age adjusted mortality ratio was observed, from 1.0 in thinner/non-smokers up to 3.15 in fatter/current smokers. On the assumption that smoking and obesity cause strokes, an estimated 60% of strokes could be prevented if these two easily identifiable risk factors could be avoided. The risks of overweight for death from stroke were more apparent in younger subjects and non-smokers. A substantial proportion of stroke deaths occurring under the age of 80 years w...Continue Reading


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