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Clinical Summary

Body Weight Variability Tied to Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease


  • Body weight variability was found to be associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events, cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and composite cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes, independent of diabetes status and ethnicity.

Why This Matters

  • Findings suggest that investigation of the biological mechanism and identification of weight variability biomarkers may be helpful in identifying individuals most at risk of CVD.

Study Design

  • A meta-analysis of 23 studies including 15,382,537 participants, identified after a search across PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases.
  • Primary outcome: the risk of any cardiovascular event.
  • Secondary outcomes: cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and composite CVD outcomes.
  • Funding: None.

Key Results

  • Body weight variability was associated with a significantly increased risk of (relative risk; 95% CI):
    • any cardiovascular event (1.27; 1.17 to 1.38; I2 97.28%; P<0.0001);
    • cardiovascular death (1.29; 1.03 to 1.60; I2 55.16%; P<0.0001);
    • myocardial infarction (1.32; 1.09 to 1.59; I2 97.14%; P=0.0037);
    • stroke (1.21; 1.19 to 1.24; P<0.0001); and
    • composite CVD outcomes (1.36; 1.08 to 1.73; I2 92.41%; P=0.01).
  • This association was not modified by ethnicity or diabetes status.
  • Similar results were observed for body mass index variability and per unit standard deviation increase in body weight variability.


  • Heterogeneity among studies.