MI (body mass index), which measures a person’s height in relation to weight, fails to capture a true picture of health, according to a new study released the by Annals of Internal Medicine, and is incomplete as a method of determining risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
In present-day life-insurance medical underwriting practice the risk assessment starts with a standard health declaration (SHD). Indication for additional medical screening depends predominantly on age and amount of insured capital. From a medical perspective it is questionable whether there is an association between the level of insured capital and medical risk in terms of mortality. The aim of the study is to examine the prognostic value of parameters from the health declaration and application form on extra mortality based on results from additional medical testing.
Research suggests BMI insufficient for assessing health risks.
Life insurers adopted the Body Mass Index (BMI) in the 1980s to help determine an applicant’s weight class. According to the World Health Organization, an individual with a BMI of 30 or more is obese; if their BMI is over 40, the person is morbidly obese.
http://www.scor.com/images/stories/pdf/library/messengers/M3Q14_web.pdf (Article starts on page 7)