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The association of body mass index with health outcomes: causal, inconsistent, or confounded?

Authors
  • Shahar, Eyal
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Epidemiology
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Oct 15, 2009
Volume
170
Issue
8
Pages
957–958
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwp292
PMID: 19755631
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

According to the definition of confounding in a causal diagram, the association of body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) with health-related outcomes is almost always noncausal, attributable to confounding by weight and perhaps height. The same conclusion holds for any other deterministic derivation from weight and height. No causal knowledge is gained by estimating a nonexistent effect of body mass index.

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