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Adolescent body mass index can predict young adulthood diabetes and heart disease
Date:4/6/2011

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL - April 7, 2011 A large cohort study following 37,000 teenagers for 17 years found that an elevated, yet normal range Body Mass Index (BMI) constitutes a substantial risk factor for obesity-related disorders in young adults (age 30-40).

The study showed that elevated BMI in adolescence has distinctive relationships with type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease in young adulthood.

Researchers showed that diabetes is influenced mainly by recent BMI and weight gain. However, for coronary heart disease, both elevated BMI in adolescence and recent BMI are independent risk factors. The natural progression of coronary heart disease is probably the consequence of gradually increasing atherosclerosis during adolescence and early adulthood. It is important to note that these results were derived with BMI from well within the range defined as normal.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, assessed the occurrence of both diseases in young adulthood, an age group that has been rarely studied, but has experienced an increase in the incidence of these diseases in recent decades. It may help redefine what constitutes a "normal" or "healthy" BMI in adolescence and to highlight the role of elevated BMI at different ages in the diagnosis of different diseases.

The joint research team was led by Dr. Amir Tirosh (Sheba Tel-Hashomer Hospital's Talpiot program and Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School) and Profs. Iris Shai and Assaf Rudich from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Additional researchers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Medical Corps and Tel Hashomer Hospital were also involved. The team followed IDF career personnel beginning at age 17.

The IDF recorded BMI of personnel (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the squared height in meters) at baseline and again every few years. During a mean follow-up period of 17 years, the average BMI of th
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Contact: Andrew Lavin
alc@alavin.com
516-353-2505
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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