MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Krakauer: We studied the association between the recently proposed body shape index (ABSI) — which combines waist circumference, height and weight measurements — and risk of death in a United Kingdom population sample. We found that high ABSI predicted greater mortality hazard, with death rates increasing by about 13% per standard deviation increase in ABSI. Further, ABSI was a stronger predictor of early death than BMI, waist circumference, or other indices based on waist circumference such as waist to height ratio and waist to hip ratio. For a given starting ABSI value, reducing A Body Shape Index over a 7-year period was associated with lowered mortality risk, .
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Krakauer: The findings were consistent with previous results with a USA population sample, but were unexpected in that ABSI is a new indicator that has been not been widely tested.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Krakauer: Since A Body Shape Index has been proposed recently, understanding of its significance is still evolving. However, lifestyle changes such as exercise that reduce waist circumference for given height and weight would reduce ABSI and may promote health.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Krakauer: Metabolic correlates of A Body Shape Index could be investigated: for example, high ABSI might be associated with more visceral fat, which is known to contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation processes. The usefulness of ABSI as a mortality predictor could be studied in different populations. Also, intervention trials could assess whether any metabolic and health benefits seen in those trials relate to change in ABS.