(HealthDay News) — Obesity at age 25 years is associated with increased probability of subsequent severe obesity, with current body weight the best indicator of cardiovascular and metabolic risk, according to a study published online May 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jennifer B. Dowd, PhD, from the City University of New York in New York City, and Anna Zajacova, PhD, from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, utilized data from the 1999–2010 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine whether body mass index (BMI) at age 25 years predicts later adult BMI.

The researchers found that the estimated probability of Class III obesity after age 35 years was 23.1% for men who were obese at age 25 years, compared with 1.1% for normal-weight men at age 25 years. These probabilities were 46.9 and 4.8%, respectively, for women. Compared to those of normal weight at age 25 years, those who were obese in both periods had higher odds of elevated blood pressure (BP), C-reactive protein (CRP), and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), with no effect for lipids. These associations were eliminated (for BP and CRP) and greatly attenuated (for HbA1c) after adjustment for current BMI.

“The biological risks of long-term obesity are primarily due to the risk of more severe obesity later in life among those obese early in life, rather than obesity duration,” the authors write.

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