Body Mass Index


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By Linda Austin

In the last issue of PXE Awareness, Dr. Berthold Struk's report on PXE-Related Cardiovascular Manifestations contained reference to body mass index, or BMI. His article included a BMI calculator which proved difficult for some of our readers. Here we present other ways to calculate BMI which may help.

Maintaining a normal BMI is one factor which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. Other factors in risk assessment for diseases are diet, exercise, waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and family history. The National Institutes of Health estimates that "more than 300,000 lives could be saved in the U.S. each year if everyone maintained a healthy weight."

The following formula is the measurement calculation in pounds and inches for BMI:

body weight in pounds x 703 = BMI
(height in inches)2

The metric calculation is:

body weight in kilograms = BMI
(height in meters)2

For those with computer access, you may log on to the web page for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Click on the "A-Z Index" heading in the black bar at the top of the screen. Scroll down the list and click on "Body Mass Index" to read about BMI and find a calculator to automatically compute your BMI based on figures you enter.

Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 - 24.9 Normal
25.0 - 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese

Be aware that BMI calculations may underestimate body fat in older persons (over 65 years of age) who have lost muscle mass, and overestimate body fat in those with very muscular builds. Appropriate BMI for children and teens is gender and age specific and should be discussed with a pediatrician.

Dr. Struk requests that NAPE members with PXE send him their BMI's. You may email your BMI to him at, or you may send it by mail to the NAPE office at the St. Louis address and we will pass your information on to Dr. Struk.