Body Mass Index and Lymphedema

Last Modified: January 20, 2008

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Does a person’s weight affect risk for lymphedema?

Answer

Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Nurse Educator, responds:

Body mass index is a number used to evaluate weight. (BMI calculator) Researchers have seen that a BMI greater than 25 increases the risk of developing lymphedema, and also increases the risk of swelling for those who already have a diagnosis of lymphedema. The National Lymphedema Network addressed this issue recently in their question corner.

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