Premature death in women may be associated with moderate obesity at age 18

  1. Post Premature death in women may be associated with moderate obesity at age 18

    Premature death in women may be associated with moderate obesity at age 18


    Premature death in women may be associated with moderate obesity at age 18.

    "The impact of adiposity in adolescence on death during adulthood is uncertain. [We sought] to examine the relation between adiposity in adolescence and premature death in women," researchers at Harvard University report.

    R.M. van Dam and colleagues explained that this was a "prospective cohort study" done in the United States consisting of "102,400 women from the Nurses' Health Study II who were 24 to 44 years of age and free of cancer at baseline. Ninety percent were of non-Hispanic white ethnicity."

    "In 1989, current weight and height and recalled weight at age 18 years were assessed by using validated questionnaires, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Hazard ratios for death and 95% CIs were adjusted for potential confounders, including cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity during adolescence," th investigators stated.

    "During 12 years of follow-up, 710 participants died," they reported. "Compared with a BMI of 18.5 to 21.9 kg/m2 at age 18 years, the hazard ratio for premature death was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.78 to 1.23) for a BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2, 1.18 (CI, 0.97 to 1.43) for a BMI of 22.0 to 24.9 kg/m2, 1.66 (CI, 1.31 to 2.10) for a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2, and 2.79 (CI, 2.04 to 3.81) for a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater."

    They continued, "Among participants who never smoked, a BMI of 22.0 to 24.9 kg/m2 at age 18 years was also associated with increased premature death (hazard ratio, 1.50 [CI, 1.16 to 1.94]). Associations between BMI at age 18 years and death could only partly be explained by adult BMI measured in 1989. Because of the observational study design, residual confounding by imperfectly measured or unknown confounders may still be present."

    "Moderately higher adiposity at age 18 years is associated with increased premature death in younger and middle-aged U.S. women," concluded the authors.

    van Dam and colleagues published their study in Annals of Internal Medicine (The relationship between overweight in adolescence and premature death in women. Ann Intern Med, 2006;145(2):91-97).

    Additional information can be obtained by contacting R.M. van Dam, Harvard University, School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition, 665 Huntington Avenue, Building 2, Boston, MA 02115, USA; E-mail: [email protected].

    The publisher of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine can be contacted at: American College of Physicians, Independence Mall West, 6th and Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572, USA.

  2. I work for a cancer center in NYC and specialize in urological cancers. The research that I do requires surveys and the collection of this kind of data in order to seek possible correlations. Smoking and being overweight are usually the prime suspects in my bladder cancer protocols. This report doesn't shock me at all. You'll also find that most of the population's ethnic back ground is white (non-hispanic).

    Does this mean that white (NH) people are more prone to cancers? Maybe. Or maybe it is because we eat more processed junk and get fatter, stuffing chemically derived foods into our diets and eventually have our DNA death sequence altered such that we don't have cellular death (the start of cancer.)

    Potential lurking variables such as healthcare coverage and availibility to receive cancer care (which usually leads to these studies being conducted) are important details often left out of these reports. The sample size that is used is the population that can afford it.

    But truly, this is an awesome post, YeahRight. It sheds light on a few important things:

    1) Our generation is dying off way faster than our parents
    2) We are an overweight nation with more health care problems than we can shake a stick at
    3) Being young and overweight (relative to body fat%, not BMI IMO) is potentially fatal.

    Keep the good studies coming!!!


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