The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a measure for human body shape based on an individual's mass and height.
Devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics", it is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of their height - with the value universally being given in units of kg/m2.
Human body shape is a complex phenomenon with sophisticated detail and function. The general shape or figure of a person is defined mainly by the molding of skeletal structures, as well as the distribution of muscles and fat. Skeletal structure grows and changes only up to the point at which a human reaches adulthood and remains essentially the same for the rest of his or her life.
During puberty, differentiation of the male and female body occurs for the purposes of reproduction. In adult humans, muscle mass may change due to exercise, and fat distribution may change due to hormone fluctuations. Inherited genes play a large part in the development of body shape.
A medical sign is an objective indication of some medical fact or characteristic that may be detected by a physician during a physical examination or by a clinical scientist by means of an in vivo examination of a patient.
Signs may have no meaning to the patient, and may even go unnoticed, but may be meaningful and significant to the healthcare provider in assisting the diagnosis of medical condition(s) responsible for the patient's symptoms.
Whether or not obesity should be considered a disease on its own, it is also an important risk factor for many chronic physical and mental illnesses. The generally accepted view is that being overweight causes similar health problems to obesity, but to a lesser degree.
Hypertension (HTN) or high blood pressure, sometimes called arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This requires the heart to work harder than normal to circulate blood through the blood vessels. Blood pressure is summarised by two measurements, systolic and diastolic, which depend on whether the heart muscle is contracting (systole) or relaxed between beats (diastole) and equate to a maximum and minimum pressure, respectively. Normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100-140mmHg systolic (top reading) and 60-90mmHg diastolic (bottom reading). High blood pressure is said to be present if it is persistently at or above 140/90 mmHg.
Hypertension is classified as either primary (essential) hypertension or secondary hypertension; about 90–95% of cases are categorized as "primary hypertension" which means high blood pressure with no obvious underlying medical cause. The remaining 5–10% of cases (secondary hypertension) are caused by other conditions that affect the kidneys, arteries, heart or endocrine system.
Cardiovascular disease (also called heart disease) is a class of diseases that involve the heart, the blood vessels (arteries, capillaries, and veins) or both.
Cardiovascular disease refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system, principally cardiac disease, vascular diseases of the brain and kidney, and peripheral arterial disease. The causes of cardiovascular disease are diverse but atherosclerosis and/or hypertension are the most common. Additionally, with aging come a number of physiological and morphological changes that alter cardiovascular function and lead to subsequently increased risk of cardiovascular disease, even in healthy asymptomatic individuals.