ESC 2019 — Early heart attack risk is more than tripled in adolescent boys with highest BMI


  • Emily Willingham, PhD
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Young men with highest BMI at age 18 years may have more than tripled risk for a heart attack before age 65.
  • Results presented for 1.7 million adolescents suggest increased risk even with increased BMI in the normal range. 

Why this matters

  • These authors call for urgent action on all fronts, including in the clinic, to halt the childhood obesity epidemic. 

Results

  • The researchers reported a detected risk increase beginning at BMI 20 (kg/m2), which is low-normal.
  • At BMI 35, the risk was more than 3.5-fold greater.
  • Vs BMI 18.5-20.0, adjusted HRs (95% CIs) were: 
    • 1.17 (1.12-1.43) with BMI 20 to
    • 1.51 (1.44-1.59) with 22.5 to
    • 2.64 (CI not given) with 27.5-39.9; 
    • 3.05 (CI not given) with 30-34.9; and
    • 3.47 (2.75-4.39) with 35 or greater.

Study design

  • Study covered data for 1,668,921 men born in Sweden, 1950-1987, who enlisted for mandatory military service at age 18, when BMI and other information was recorded.
  • With follow-up, 1969-2016 for a maximum 46 years, using data from patient and death registries.
  • Risk for acute coronary event (hospitalization/death) assessed.

Limitations

  • Included only men, only in Sweden, so generalization to women or other regions is not known.