STOCKHOLM, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Men who become obese at age 20 years face a life-long doubling of the risk of dying prematurely, according to a new research presented at the on-going 11th International Congress on Obesity on Tuesday.
In a study led by Esther Zimmermann, at the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, researchers tracked more than 5,000 military conscripts starting at the age of 20 until up to the age of 80.
They compared mortality in a sample of 1,930 obese male military conscripts with that in a random sample of 3,601 non- obese male conscripts. Body Mass Index (BMI) was measured at the average ages of 20, 35 and 46 years, and they followed up their death time. A total of 1,191 men had died during the follow-up period of up to 60 years.
"Our finding shows that at any given age, an obese man was twice as likely to die as a man who was not obese and that obesity at age 20 years had a constant effect on death up to 60 years later," Zimmerman said at a press conference here on Tuesday.
They also found that the change of dying early increased by 10 percent for each BMI point above the threshold for a healthy weight and that this persisted throughout life, with the obese dying about eight years earlier than the non-obese.
"Our study sheds light on how obesity at age 20 years affects obesity throughout adult life. It is the first study with such a long follow-up time and thus the first study to investigate the lifelong effect," Zimmermann said.