Pass me a dozen Krispy Kremes please! Arch Intern Med 2007;167:468-475 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 13 - As body mass index (BMI) increases in men, the risk of death from suicide falls markedly, new research shows. By contrast, height and level of physical activity have no bearing on suicide risk. Previous reports have linked obesity with depression, but the association with suicide risk has received far less attention, Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues note. Given these findings, obesity might be expected to raise the risk of suicide, but the few studies that have addressed this topic have largely found just the opposite. The present study, reported in the March 12th issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, involved an analysis of data for 46,755 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Height, weight, and physical activity levels were recorded starting in 1986 and repeated several times until 2002 or death. Mental health-related quality of life was determined with a standard survey in a subset of 1829 men in 1998. During follow-up, 131 subjects died from suicide, the report indicates. The suicide mortality rate ranged from 13 deaths per 100,000 person-years among men with a BMI of 30 or greater to 52 deaths per 100,000 person-years for those with a BMI of less than 21. For each 1.0 unit increase in BMI, the suicide risk was lowered by 11%. As noted, height and physical activity did not strongly influence the risk of death from suicide. Consistent with the suicide findings, mental health-related quality of life improved as BMI increased, the authors note. "Although obesity cannot be recommended on the basis of its detrimental effects, further research into the mechanisms of lower risk among overweight and obese men may provide insights into effective methods of suicide prevention," the researchers conclude.