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Public Health Nutr. 2010 Jul;13(7):1090-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980009993193. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

BMI > or = 50 kg/m2 is associated with a younger age of onset of overweight and a high prevalence of adverse metabolic profiles.

Author information

1
Obesity Research Group, St Columcille's Hospital and St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland. jeanoco@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study the demographic and clinical parameters of three different categories of obesity, with particular focus on a cohort of individuals with BMI > or = 50 kg/m2, the fastest growing category of obesity.

DESIGN:

Over 700 obese individuals were studied (186 with BMI = 30-39 kg/m2, 316 with BMI = 40-49 kg/m2 and 290 with BMI > or = 50 kg/m2).

RESULTS:

Median BMI was 51 kg/m2 for patients who reported onset of overweight before 15 years of age, 47 kg/m2 for patients who reported onset between 15 and 30 years, and 42 kg/m2 for patients who became overweight after 30 years of age. The BMI > or = 50 kg/m2 group was notably younger than the group with BMI = 30-39 kg/m2 (44 (SD 11) years v. 50 (SD 15) years; P < 0.0001). Eighteen per cent of obese patients studied were considered metabolically healthy according to standard cut-off points for blood pressure, fasting glucose and lipid profiles. However, the proportion of metabolically healthy individuals was significantly higher in the BMI = 30-39 kg/m2 group than in the BMI = 40-49 kg/m2 and BMI > or = 50 kg/m2 groups (31% v. 17% and 12% respectively; P < 0.05 and P < 0.005). When compared with people of similar age in the general population, individuals with BMI > or = 50 kg/m2 had lower rates of marriage (51% v. 72%) and a higher prevalence of unemployment (14% v. 5%).

CONCLUSIONS:

The current study suggests that the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity worldwide will lead to many more individuals achieving a higher BMI at a younger age. Furthermore, an earlier onset of overweight does not appear to prevent the adverse metabolic health outcomes associated with extreme obesity.

PMID:
20100391
DOI:
10.1017/S1368980009993193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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