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Association of body mass index in youth with adult cardiometabolic risk


Wu, F and Juonala, M and Sabin, MA and Buscot, MJ and Pahkala, K and Smith, KJ and Hutri-Kahonen, N and Kahonen, M and Laitinen, TP and Viikari, JSA and Raitakari, OT and Magnussen, CG, Association of body mass index in youth with adult cardiometabolic risk, Journal of the American Heart Association, 9, (14) Article e015288. ISSN 2047-9980 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

© 2020 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License, ( which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

DOI: doi:10.1161/JAHA.119.015288


BACKGROUND: Whether long‐term exposure to overweight or obesity from early life to adulthood has a detrimental influence on health outcomes is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether duration of overweight or obesity from youth to adulthood is associated with adult cardiometabolic risk.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A population‐based cohort study was performed of 1268 youths, aged 3 to 18 years, with follow‐ups at 3, 6, 9, 12, 21, 27, and 31 years. Duration of overweight or obesity over 31‐year follow‐up was calculated. Adulthood outcomes included type 2 diabetes mellitus, impaired fasting glucose, high insulin levels, high carotid intima‐media thickness, hypertension, low high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, high low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, arterial pulse wave velocity, carotid artery compliance, Young elastic modulus, and stiffness index. Rates of overweight/obesity were 7.9% at baseline and 55.9% after 31 years. After adjustment for confounders, longer duration of overweight or obesity was associated with increased risk of all outcomes (relative risk ranged from 1.45–9.06 for type 2 diabetes mellitus, impaired fasting glucose, carotid intima‐media thickness, hypertension, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides; β from 0.370–0.543 m/s for pulse wave velocity; –0.193 to –0.237 %/10 mm Hg for carotid artery compliance; 52.1–136.8 mm Hg·mm for Young elastic modulus; and 0.554–0.882 for stiffness index). When body mass index was further adjusted, these associations disappeared or were substantially reduced. Detrimental associations of adult body mass index with all outcomes were robust to adjustment for confounders and duration of overweight or obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: Overweight or obesity in adulthood rather than childhood appears to be more important for adult cardiometabolic health.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cardiometabolic health, cohort, duration of overweight, pediatric
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Cardiology (incl. cardiovascular diseases)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Wu, F (Dr Feitong Wu)
UTAS Author:Buscot, MJ (Dr Marie-Jeanne Buscot)
UTAS Author:Smith, KJ (Dr Kylie Smith)
UTAS Author:Magnussen, CG (Associate Professor Costan Magnussen)
ID Code:150425
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (1158661)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-06-14
Last Modified:2022-08-25
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