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BMI at age 17 and diabetes mortality in midlife

There is growing concern about the sequelae associated with increasing childhood obesity. In this large study, based in Israel, the association of BMI in late adolescence with diabetes mortality in midlife was assessed in a cohort of 2,294,139 adolescents (baseline age, 17.4±0.3 years), measured between 1967 and 2010. Outcomes were then linked to official records and it was found that the degree of adolescent overweight or obesity, including BMI values within the currently accepted “normal” range, strongly predicted diabetes mortality up to the seventh decade.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

In this study, the BMI values of 2,294,139 Israeli adolescents were measured between 1967 and 2010. This cohort was then followed up and outcomes, obtained by linkage with official national records, were scrutinised for the incidence of diabetes and death attributed to diabetes as the underlying cause.

During 42,297,007 person-years of follow-up, there were 481 deaths from diabetes, with an increase in diabetes-related mortality evident from the 25th to the 49th BMI percentile. Overweight (85th to 94th percentiles) and obesity (the 95th percentile or higher) was particularly associated with diabetes-related mortality. Adolescent BMI, including values within the currently accepted “normal” range, strongly predicts diabetes-related mortality up to the seventh decade. The authors concluded that increasing prevalence of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity points to a substantially increased future adult diabetes burden.

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