Association of Weight Fluctuation With Mortality in Japanese Adults

John Cologne, Ikuno Takahashi, Benjamin French, Akiko Nanri, Munechika Misumi, Atsuko Sadakane, Harry M. Cullings, Yuko Araki, Tetsuya Mizoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: Weight cycling is associated with the risk of mortality from heart disease, but many studies have not distinguished between simple nonlinear (monotone) weight changes and more complex changes that reflect fluctuations. Objective: To assess whether extreme body weight variation is associated with mortality after controlling for nonlinear weight changes. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this prospective clinical cohort study, 4796 Japanese atomic bomb survivors were examined in the clinic as part of a biennial health examination and research program. The study consisted of a 20-year longitudinal baseline period (July 1, 1958, to June 30, 1978) and subsequent mortality follow-up of 27 years (July 1, 1978, to June 30, 2005) Participants were initially between the ages of 20 and 49 years during the baseline period and, throughout the baseline period, had no diagnoses of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer and attended at least 7 of 10 scheduled examinations. Data analysis was performed from October 16, 2015, to May 13, 2016. Exposures: Residual variability in body mass index (BMI) during the baseline period. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcomes were mortality from ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, other CVDs combined, other causes (except cancer), and cancer. Root mean squared error was calculated to capture individual residual variation in BMI after adjustment for baseline BMI trends, and the association of magnitude of residual variation with mortality was calculated as relative risk. Results: In total, 4796 persons (mean [SD] age, 35.0 [7.3] years at first baseline examination; 3252 [67.8%] female; mean [SD] BMI, 21.2 [2.8] at first baseline visit [20.6 (2.4) among men and 21.5 (2.9) among women]) participated in the study. During follow-up, 1550 participants died: 82 (5.3% of all deaths) of ischemic heart disease, 181 (11.7%) of cerebrovascular disease, 186 (12.0%) of other CVDs, 615 (39.7%) of cancer, and 486 (31.3%) of other causes. Magnitude of residual variation in weight was associated with all-cause mortality (relative risk, 1.25 for 1 U of additional variation; 95% CI, 1.06-1.47) and ischemic heart disease mortality (relative risk, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.41-4.38). Conclusions and Relevance: The findings suggest that an association exists between weight variation and heart disease mortality and that weight loss interventions, if deemed to be necessary, should be considered carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e190731
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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