Body weight and risk of nonfatal acute myocardial infarction among women: A case-control study from Northern Italy

Alessandra Tavani, Eva Negri, Barbara D'Avanzo, Carlo La Vecchia

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Background. The relationship between nonfatal acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and self-reported body weight and body mass index (BMI; Quetelet index, kg/m2) has been investigated. Methods. A case-control study was conducted between 1983 and 1992 in northern Italy on 432 women with nonfatal AMI and 867 controls in hospital for acute, noncardiovascular, nonneoplastic, nondigestive, non-hormone-related conditions. Odds ratios (OR), with their 95% confidence intervals (CI), were computed by unconditional multiple logistic regression analysis, including terms for age, education, and smoking, plus history of selected diseases. Results. Women with body weight and BMI in the highest quartile had an increased risk of AMI after allowance for age, education, and smoking status (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2, and OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.4, respectively). Compared with leaner women, the risk was higher among women with BMI above the median, in association with a history of diabetes (OR 5.2) or hyperlipidemia (OR 6.0). Hypertensive women had similar OR in the two strata of BMI (OR 5.1 and 4.8). The association of BMI with risk of AMI was apparently stronger among women younger than 50 years and among less educated women, but was similar among smokers and never smokers. Conclusions. The results of this study confirm that AMI among women is related to excess BMI, with a population attributable risk of 17%. The excess risk was substantial among overweight women with history of diabetes or hyperlipidemia, stressing the importance of controlling body weight among these women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-555
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Body mass index
  • Case-control studies
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Obesity
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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