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Obese Youths at Higher Risk of Future Heart Disease

Aggressive therapy may reduce but not eliminate the projected increase in coronary heart disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with a high body mass index (BMI) are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood, according to a study published in the December issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. A second study estimates future morbidity based on current obesity trends in teens.

Jennifer Baker, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Center for Health and Society in Copenhagen, Denmark, examined a cohort of 276,835 Danish schoolchildren and evaluated the association between their BMI and future development of coronary heart disease between 25 and 60 years of age. The researchers found a positive linear correlation between BMI in childhood and the likelihood of experiencing a heart disease event, fatal or non-fatal, as an adult. The risk of future coronary heart disease was stronger with increasing age in both sexes.

In a separate report, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Ph.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of obese 35-year-olds in 2020 based on rates of adolescent obesity in the year 2000. Using a computer simulated model, they estimated an increase in obesity-related coronary heart disease by 30 to 37 percent in men, and 34 to 44 percent in women, by the year 2020.

"A number of interventions might blunt or offset this projection, but reducing overweight among adolescents can be expected to yield considerable benefits in adulthood," Bibbins-Domingo and colleagues write.

Abstract - Baker
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Abstract - Bibbins-Domingo
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