TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Above-average childhood body mass index (BMI) and increases in BMI during childhood are associated with increased risk of early adult ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in JAMA Neurology.
Line K. Gjaerde, M.D., from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study of schoolchildren born from 1930 to 1987 with follow-up through national health registers from 1977 to 2012. Data were included for 307,677 individuals with measured weight and height at ages 7 to 13 years.
The researchers found that 3,529 women and 5,370 men experienced an ischemic stroke during the study period. An above-average BMI z score at ages 7 to 13 years was positively associated with early ischemic stroke. A BMI z score of 1 at age 13 years was associated with hazard ratios of 1.26 and 1.21 in women and men, respectively. There were no significant correlations for below-average BMI z scores. Among children with above-average BMI z scores at age 7 years, an increase in score of 0.5 from ages 7 to 13 correlated with early ischemic stroke among women and men (hazard ratios, 1.1 and 1.08, respectively). Similar trends were seen for children with below-average BMI z scores at age 7 years and an increase in score of 0.5 from ages 7 to 13 (hazard ratios, 1.14 and 1.1, respectively).
"These results suggest that all children should be helped to attain and maintain healthy weights," the authors write.