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Obese Young Men May not Reach Middle Age

A recently published study in journal BMJ Open reports that men who are obese at an early age have a great risk of developing serious illnesses by the time they are in their 50s, if they even live that long.  The study involved 6500 Danish men who had registered with the Military Board for a fitness test to evaluate their suitability for military service. The men were aged 22 years at the start of the study and were followed for 33 years until they were 55 years old.

Most of the men were found to be of normal weight while 10% were overweight and 1.5% were obese. Almost half of the obese men were diagnosed with high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart attack, blood clots in the lungs or legs before reaching the age of 55. Some had died during the study period.

Analysis of the data showed that they were eight times as likely to develop diabetes, four times as likely to form a potentially fatal blood clot, and more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, or have had a heart attack than their normal weight peers. They were also twice as likely to have died before age 55.

They also found that every unit increase in body mass index (BMI) increased their heart attack rate by 5%, high blood pressure and blood clot rates by 10%, and diabetes rate by 20%.

In general, obese young men were thrice as likely to develop any of these serious conditions as by middle age, or an absolute risk of almost 50% compared with only 20% for normal weight peers.

The authors warn that the continuing rise in obesity rates may counteract the drop in death rates from heart disease and may increase the burden on healthcare systems worldwide.


BMJ-British Medical Journal. Obesity in early 20s curbs chances of reaching middle age. ScienceDaily.


Posted in: Longevity, News Briefs, Obesity, Obesity Risk

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