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Obes Res. 2005 Jan;13(1):163-9.

Weight status in childhood as a predictor of becoming overweight or hypertensive in early adulthood.

Author information

  • 1Children's Hospital Boston, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Medicine, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Alison.Field@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the extent to which weight status in childhood or adolescence predicts becoming overweight or hypertensive by young adulthood.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

We conducted a prospective study of 314 children, who were 8 to 15 years old at baseline, and were followed up 8 to 12 years later. Weight, height, and blood pressure were measured by trained research staff. Incident overweight was defined as BMI>or=25 kg/m2 among participants who had not been overweight as children.

RESULTS:

More male subjects (48.3%) than female subjects (23.5%) became overweight or obese between their first childhood visit and the young adult follow-up (p<0.001). Being in the upper one half of the normal weight range (i.e., BMI between the 50th and 84th percentiles for age and gender in childhood) was a good predictor of becoming overweight as a young adult. Compared with children with a BMI<50th percentile, girls and boys between the 50th and 74th percentiles of BMI were approximately 5 times more likely [boys, odds ratio (OR)=5.3, p=0.002; girls, OR=4.8, p=0.07] and those with a BMI between the 75th and 84th percentiles were up to 20 times more likely (boys, OR=4.3, p=0.02; girls, OR=20.2, p=0.001) to become overweight. The incidence of high blood pressure was greater among the male subjects (12.3% vs. 1.9%). Compared with boys who had childhood BMI below the 75th percentile, boys between the 75th and 85th percentiles of BMI as children were four times more likely (OR=3.6) and those at above the 85th percentile were five times more likely (OR=5.1) to become hypertensive.

DISCUSSION:

High normal weight status in childhood predicted becoming overweight or obese as an adult. Also, among the boys, elevated BMI in childhood predicted risk of hypertension in young adulthood.

PMID:
15761176
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1989681
Free PMC Article
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