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

e participants rose at a rate of 0.2 to 0.3 units per year, reaching an average weight gain of approximately 15 Kg. (~30 lbs) between ages 17 and 30. The researchers were able to control for multiple risk factors for both diseases, including age, fasting blood glucose, blood lipids, blood pressure, smoking, exercise habits and family history.

The researchers found that it was possible to predict the increased risk for developing both diabetes and coronary heart disease even if the BMI was within the normal range (<25 Kg/m2) . A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight while 30 BMI or higher is considered obese.

According to the study, every rise in one unit of BMI was associated with ~10 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes in early adulthood, and a 12 percent increase in the risk for heart disease. Remarkably, this elevated risk was significant at a BMI at age 17 of 23.4 Kg/m2 or higher for diabetes and 20.9 Kg/m2 or higher for heart disease.

For diabetes, BMI at age 17 predicted the risk mainly since it associated with BMI later in life. However, for heart disease, both BMI at adolescence, as well as BMI at adulthood independently of each other predicted the risk of the disease. During the 17 year study period, 1,173 new cases of diabetes and 327 new cases of heart disease were diagnosed.

According to Dr. Tirosh, "Our results suggest that the obesity problem in children and teens is likely just the tip of an iceberg for increased risk for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes and heart disease in your 30s and 40s. While this is an observational study, it does suggest that an adolescent with a relatively high BMI, who grows up to become a lean adult, practically eliminated the added risk of developing diabetes attributed to his BMI at adolescence.

"Conversely, the risk of that person for heart disease will remain elevated compared to the lean teen who became a lean adult, though still will be lower than tha
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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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