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Excessive weight gain during puberty increases risk of heart disease

A new study has revealed that putting on lots of weight during puberty increases the risk of death due to heart disease later in life.

Excessive weight gain during puberty increases risk of heart disease
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Zee Media Bureau

London: A new study has revealed that putting on lots of weight during puberty increases the risk of death due to heart disease later in life.

There was no risk among children who had no significant changes during puberty but were overweight before it started.

For the study over 37,600 men and the change in body mass index (BMI) during puberty was calculated using BMI values at eight and 20 years of age.

The findings evaluated the contribution of BMI during the two distinct developmental periods -- childhood and puberty for cardiovascular mortality in adult men.

Increased cardiovascular mortality was seen in boys with a large increase in BMI during puberty, while there was no increased risk for those who were overweight prior to puberty but whose BMI normalised during puberty. Thus, excessive BMI increase during puberty seems unhealthy.

"In this study, we show that a large increase in BMI during puberty is particularly important, while high BMI at age eight is not linked to increased risk of cardiovascular death," said Jenny Kindblom, Associate Professor at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

According to the present study, the increased risks occur in the group of boys whose BMI increased by more than seven BMI units during puberty. Within this group, the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease later in life increases by 22 per cent for every extra BMI unit.

The study is being published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

(With IANS inputs)

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