STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 15 (UPI) — Obese 20-year-old men have a lifelong doubling of premature death risk, researchers in Denmark say.
Study leader Esther Zimmermann of the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at University of Copenhagen in Denmark says obesity at age 20 can have a constant effect on death up to 60 years later.
She said more research is needed to determine whether the lifelong effect is due to being obese at 20 or because obesity is often a lifelong condition.
The researcher tracked 5,000 military conscripts age 20 up to age 80.
“It is the first study with such a long follow-up time and thus the first study to investigate the lifelong effect,” Zimmermann said in a statement.
The researchers compared mortality in 1,930 obese men versus mortality i 3,601 non-obese men. Body mass index calculated using height and weight at ages 20, 35 and 46 measured obesity.
During the study period, 1,191 of the men had died.
The study found that at any given age, an obese man was twice as likely to die as a man who was not and that obesity at age 20 years had a constant effect on death up to 60 years later.
“At age 70 years, 70 percent of the men in the comparison group and 50 percent of those in the obese group were still alive and we estimated that from middle age, the obese were likely to die eight years earlier than those in the comparison group,” Zimmermann said.
The findings were presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm.
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