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Independent Link for Child BMI, Adult Cardio Risk Questioned

In the few studies that adjust for adult body mass index, the effect sizes are attenuated

FRIDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Although the evidence for an association between childhood body mass index (BMI) and cardiovascular outcomes seems consistent, few studies examine this association independent of adult BMI, according to research published in the November issue of Obesity Reviews.

Minhae H. Park, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues conducted a literature review for published studies of BMI that directly measured weight and height in childhood (2 to 19 years) and disease outcomes in adulthood.

The researchers found that, in the 39 included studies, evidence was found to support associations between childhood BMI and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. A limited number of studies examined the correlations independent of adult BMI; in these studies, the effect sizes were reduced after adjustment for adult BMI.

"Although there is a consistent body of evidence for associations between childhood BMI and cardiovascular outcomes, there is a lack of evidence for effects independent of adult BMI," the authors write. "Studies that use more robust designs and analytical techniques are needed to establish whether childhood obesity is an independent risk factor for adult disease."

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