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Heart Circulation: Heavy weight gain during puberty is a massive risk factor
Many children gain significant weight at the beginning of puberty. Such a large weight gain during puberty increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood, according to a recent study by Swedish researchers. The increase in weight during puberty also increases the risk of premature death from cardiovascular diseases, the scientists report in the specialist magazine "The Lancet - Diabetes & Endocrinology".
In their current study, the team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg examined the connection between weight gain during puberty and the risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases in boys. The Swedish scientists found that a sharp increase in weight during puberty was associated with a significantly higher probability of premature death due to cardiovascular diseases. Monitoring the weight gain during puberty could provide important clues to impending fatal cardiovascular events, the researchers report.
Data from 38,000 men evaluated
According to the research team led by Professor Claes Ohlsson, it was already known from previous studies that obesity in childhood and adolescence increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. However, it has so far remained unclear to what extent there is a connection with the mortality risk in cardiovascular diseases. Using data from a comprehensive epidemiological study that followed nearly 38,000 Swedish men born between 1945 and 1961 over a 20-year period, the researchers examined the effects of body weight at puberty on the risk of fatal cardiovascular events.
Weight at puberty with a significant impact
In total, 3,188 deaths occurred in the study period, of which 710 were due to cardiovascular diseases, the scientists report. When compared to the Body Mass Index (BMI) in adolescence, the researchers found that cardiovascular mortality in boys who became overweight during puberty and in boys who were overweight throughout childhood and puberty, was significantly higher than that of normal weight adolescents and boys who were fat in childhood and reduced their excess weight during puberty.
Do you need to monitor weight during puberty?
Overall, it became clear that an excessive increase in BMI during puberty is a risk marker of cardiovascular mortality, while the BMI remains without consequences in childhood, the scientists report. "These results show that the BMI should be monitored during puberty to identify boys at increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in adulthood," the Swedish scientists concluded. (fp)