Know how to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI).
- BMI can tell whether a patient is overweight or obese; it measures body fat.
- Overweight and obesity are linked with several health issues. Health issues like hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis represent a few examples.
- Overweight and obesity are linked to morbidity.
- Overweight and obesity are also linked to an increase in all-cause mortality.
- BMI is used in adult men and women and NOT in children.
- BMI measures body fat in relations to height and weight.
- Be careful to interpret the BMI measurement in the context of the patient; for example, with a muscular person, BMI may overestimate body fat while in a small frail elderly person the BMI underestimate body fat(loss of muscle mass).
- In some cases the waist measurement is used along with BMI to predict disease risk; fat around the waist in not good.
- For women, high risk is defined as waist size > 35 inches.
- For men, high risk is defined as waist size > 40 inches.
- Be vigilant for underweight patients as these people may have issues when treating certain diseases; an example would be a frail malnourished patient hospitalized with a weaken immune system trying to fight an infection.
BMI’s are classified in the following chart.
There are two ways to calculate BMI. Make sure to use the proper units in each method. kg/m2 is the unit for BMI.