(HealthDay News) – Teen mothers are more likely to be overweight or obese later in life compared to women who do not give birth as a teen, according to a study published online April 15 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from the 2001–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess the relationship between teen birth and subsequent weight based on survey results from women (aged 20–59 years old at the time of survey) with at least one live birth and not currently or recently pregnant (unweighted, 5,220 participants; weighted, 48.4 million participants).

The researchers found that women with a teen birth were significantly more likely to be overweight (relative risk ratio [RRR], 1.61) or obese (RRR, 1.84) at the time of the survey, compared to women without a teen birth. Women with a teen birth remained significantly more likely to be overweight (adjusted RRR, 1.33) or obese (adjusted RRR, 1.32), compared to women without a teen birth, in multivariate models.

“When taking care of teen moms, we often have so many immediate concerns – child care, housing, school, social and financial support – that we don’t often think of the long-term health effects of teen pregnancy,” Chang said in a statement. “For the first time, we’ve identified our youngest moms as a high-risk group for obesity, which we know to be one of the most debilitating, long-term health issues we face.”

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