Intended for healthcare professionals


The benefits of being overweight and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 30 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5095

When is it better to be fat? The answer—do not adjust your spectacles—is if you have almost any kind of heart problem or cardiovascular risk factor. The latest source of data on the relation between body mass index (BMI) and outcomes in patients with or at high risk of atherosclerosis is REACH (European Heart Journal 2015, doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv347), an international, prospective cohort of 54 285 such people with full data on risk factors and protective drugs. When these confounders were adjusted for, the lowest hazard ratio for all cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and cardiovascular events was found in patients with a BMI of 30-40. This is consistent with the totality of evidence, as explained in the linked editorial (doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehv414).

Lots of viruses are known to promote cancer, but now a bacterium may join their ranks. Fusobacterium nucleatum thrives on plaque in the mouth, but when …

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