Body mass index and premature mortality in physically heavily working men--a ten-year follow-up of 20,000 construction workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Aug;49(8):913-21. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31814544fe.


Objective: Although obesity is clearly associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, health consequences of being mildly or moderately overweight are less clear in physically heavily working men.

Methods: The association between body mass index (BMI) and mortality was assessed over a 10-year period in a cohort of 19,513 male construction workers, who underwent routine occupational health examination during 1986 to 1992.

Results: Among never smokers normal and overweight men experienced similar mortality. Among smokers, we observed a strong U-shaped association between BMI and all-cause mortality, which was lowest for BMI levels between 25 and 35 kg/m after control for potential covariates.

Conclusions: BMI levels commonly considered to reflect overweight may not necessarily be associated with increased mortality in physically heavily working men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Occupations
  • Overweight / mortality*