Thursday, December 27, 2007

Adolescent obesity increases future coronary heart disease risk

A rising trend of adolescent obesity is projected to result in an increase of heart disease events (including death) by up to 16% between the years of 2020 and 2035.

The effect of adolescent obesity on future adult heart disease risk has not been clearly established. In a recent publication, researchers estimated the prevalence of obese 35-year-olds in 2020 on the basis of adolescents overweight in 2000 and historical trends regarding overweight adolescents who become obese adults. A state-transition computer simulation was used to project the annual excess incidence and prevalence of heart disease, the total number of excess heart disease events, and excess deaths from both heart disease and other causes related to obesity from 2020 to 2035.

The number of overweight adolescents is projected to increase the prevalence of obese 35-year-olds in 2020 to a range of 30-37% in men and 34-44% in women. As a result of this increased obesity, an increase in the incidence of heart disease and related deaths is projected to occur in young adulthood. By 2035, it is estimated that the prevalence of heart disease will increase by a range of 5-16%, with more than 100,000 excess cases caused by the increased obesity.
Although projections 25 or more years into the future are subject to numerous uncertainties, based on current data it is a reasonable assumption that adolescent obesity will increase rates of heart disease among future young and middle-aged adults, resulting in substantial increases in disease and death rates.

Researchers concluded that aggressive treatment with currently available therapies to reverse obesity-related risk factors may reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the calculated increase in the number of heart disease events.

Source: Adolescent Overweight and Future Adult Coronary Heart Disease, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Pamela Coxson, Mark J. Pletcher, James Lightwood and Lee Goldman, N Engl J Med, 2007 Dec 6; 357(23):2371-9.