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Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Feb;129(2):312-8.

Large fluctuations in body weight during young adulthood and twenty-five-year risk of coronary death in men.

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  • 1Human Nutrition Center, School of Public Health, University of Texas, Houston 77225.


The hypothesis that large fluctuations in weight during young adulthood are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease was investigated by comparing the 25-year mortality of three groups of middle-aged men with distinctly different patterns of self-reported weight during young adulthood: 98 men who reported large gains and large losses, 133 who reported large gains and no losses, and 178 who reported no substantial change in weight. They were selected from a cohort of 2,107 men aged 40-56 years who participated in the Western Electric Study from 1957 through 1983. The 25-year crude risk of coronary death was 26% in the "gain and loss" group, 15% in the "gain only" group, 14% in the "no change" group, and 17% in the remaining 1,550 men. After adjustment for age and major coronary risk factors, the relative risk of coronary death in the gain and loss group as compared with the no change group was 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.2-3.5). Risk of death from cancer was highest in the gain only group, and risk of death from all causes combined was lowest in the no change group. These results support the concept that large changes in weight during young adulthood increase the risk of coronary disease and of cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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