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Eur J Public Health. 2019 Jun 6. pii: ckz109. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckz109. [Epub ahead of print]

Youth to adult body mass index trajectories as a predictor of metabolically healthy obesity in adulthood.

Author information

1
Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia.
2
Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
3
Paavo Nurmi Centre, Sports & Exercise Medicine Unit, Department of Physical Activity and Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
4
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
5
Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
6
Department of Pediatrics, University of Tampere, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
7
Department of Clinical Physiology, University of Tampere School of Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
8
Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.
9
LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Jyväskylä, Finland.
10
Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
11
Department of Pediatrics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
12
Department of Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
13
Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
14
Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adiposity in childhood and adolescence (youth) has been shown to associate with adult metabolic health. What is not known, is whether youth body mass index (BMI) associates with metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) in adulthood, and if so, the age when the BMI to MHO association emerges. This study aimed to determine if BMI trajectories from youth to adulthood differed between adults with MHO and metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUHO).

METHODS:

The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study had measured weight and height up to eight times in individuals from youth (3-18 years in 1980) to adulthood (24-49 years). Adult MHO was defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg m-2, normal fasting glucose (<5.6 mmol l-1), triglycerides (<1.695 mmol l-1), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (≥1.295 mmol l-1 females, ≥1.036 mmol l-1 males), blood pressure (<130/85 mmHg) and no medications for these conditions. BMI trajectories were compared for adults with MHO and MUHO using multilevel mixed models adjusted for age, sex and follow-up time.

RESULTS:

Mean (SD) follow-up time was 29 (3) years. Five hundred and twenty-four participants were obese in adulthood, 66 (12.6%) had MHO. BMI was similar through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. BMI trajectories diverged at age 33, when individuals with MHO had at least 1.0 kg m-2 lower BMI than those with MUHO, significantly lower at 36 (-2.1 kg m-2, P = 0.001) and 42 years (-1.7 kg m-2; P = 0.005).

CONCLUSION:

Adult MHO was characterized by lower adult BMI, not youth BMI. Preventing additional weight gain among adults who are obese may be beneficial for metabolic health.

PMID:
31169878
DOI:
10.1093/eurpub/ckz109

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