Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Teen Obesity Tied To Death Risks In Middle-Age

“Obese teenagers are more likely than their thinner peers to die of heart disease or certain other ills by the time they are middle-aged, a large study suggests. Researchers found that among more than 200,000 Norwegians followed from adolescence to middle-age, those who were obese or overweight as teens were three to four times as likely to have died of heart disease. Similarly, their risks of death from colon cancer or respiratory diseases, such as asthma and emphysema, were two to three times that of adults who had been thinner as teenagers. They were also more likely to have died suddenly. It's not clear how much of the mortality risk stems from early obesity, per se, according to lead researcher Dr. Tone Bjorge, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Bergen. Study participants who were obese as teenagers, she told Reuters Health, tended to remain obese into adulthood. Obesity later in life has long been implicated as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, Bjorge noted, whereas the long-term effects of childhood obesity are uncertain.”

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