Excess weight gain during puberty 'can increase of heart disease'

10 November 2016

Boys who experience a large increase in their body mass index (BMI) during puberty may be at an elevated risk of developing heart disease in later life.

The Sahlgrenska Academy research assessed 37,600 men born between 1945 and 1961 and found that those whose BMI increased by more than seven units during puberty saw their risk of death due to cardiovascular disease later in life rise by 22 per cent for every extra BMI unit.

No corresponding risk was seen among boys who were already overweight when younger before taking on a normal weight during adolescence, showing that the development of weight issues during puberty is the cause of the problem.

Although BMI increases during puberty are a normal part of adolescent development to some degree, this research indicates that doctors need to monitor the degree of this weight gain more closely.

Professor Claes Ohlsson said: "Our data suggest that BMI should be monitored in schoolchildren extra closely during puberty for the early identification of individuals at high risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease in the future."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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