Body mass index and incidence of tuberculosis

Eur J Respir Dis. 1986 Nov;69(5):355-62.


The association between body mass index (BMI) and incidence of tuberculosis was studied among 1,717,655 persons older than 14 years who were followed for 8-19 years. The incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis decreased with increasing BMI. The trend was roughly linear on the log scale, and was the same for both sexes and all age groups. X-ray-positive (calcification, pleural changes, infiltration) individuals showed the same trend, but on a much higher level than X-ray-negative individuals. When the total observation period was subdivided according to duration, the trend was found to be only slightly less steep for 10-19 years than for 0-4 and 5-9 years. When the material was divided simultaneously by group of observation years and by miniature X-ray findings, the association persisted. No association was seen between the incidence of other forms of tuberculosis and BMI. For persons reported with tuberculosis, a slightly decreasing mortality of tuberculosis was seen with increasing BMI, while mortality, all causes, seemed to have a slightly U-shaped association with BMI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Body Height*
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Smoking
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / mortality