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Obese youth more likely to die before 55

Men who are obese in their early 20s are twice as likely as peers of average weight to die before reaching the age of 55, a study said on Tuesday.
The Straits Times - May 6, 2013
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Obese youth more likely to die before 55

Men who are obese in their early 20s are twice as likely as peers of average weight to die before reaching the age of 55, a study said on Tuesday.

Writing in the journal BMJ Open, a team of researchers reported on a 33-year study of 6,500 Danish men who were 22 years old in 1955.

Of the group, 1.5 per cent or 97 were obese when they registered - which means they had a weight-to-height ratio (body mass index or BMI) of 30 or more, said the study authors.

Most of the group, 83 per cent or 5,407, were within the "normal" weight range - classified as a BMI of between 18.5 and 25.

Nearly half of the obese group were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure by age 55, had had a heart attack, a stroke or blood clots in the legs or lungs, or were dead.

"They were... more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, have had a heart attack or to have died," said a statement.

"Every unit increase in BMI corresponded to an increased heart attack rate of 5 per cent, high blood pressure and blood clot rates of 10 per cent and an increased diabetes rate of 20 per cent."

The authors warned that ill health and early deaths from obesity will, "in decades to come, place an unprecedented burden on health-care systems".

While the study was done only on men, the link was likely to also hold true for women, added the authors.

Agence France-Presse

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