Overweight and Obese Teens More Likely to Die of Chronic Disease

The Physicians Committee

Overweight and Obese Teens More Likely to Die of Chronic Disease

July 1, 2008

A study in today’s American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who were obese or overweight in adolescence were three to four times as likely to have died of heart disease by middle age as compared with their thinner peers. A total of 226,678 Norwegian teens were measured for body mass index (BMI) as part of a compulsory national health survey and followed for an average of 34.9 years. They were found to be two to three times more likely to die from colon cancer or respiratory disease. Women in the highest BMI category were at increased risk of death from cervical cancer and both sexes were at increased risk for sudden death.

Bjørge T, Engeland A, Tverdal A, Smith GD. Body mass index in adolescence in relation to cause-specific mortality: a follow-up of 230,000 Norwegian adolescents. Am J Epidemiol. 2008;168:30-37.

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