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Body weight in adolescence and long-term risk of early heart failure in adulthood among men in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Annika Rosengren
Maria A I Åberg
Josefina Robertson
Margda Waern
Maria Schaufelberger
Hans-Georg Kuhn
N David Åberg
Linus Schiöler
Kjell Torén
Published in European heart journal
Volume 38
Issue 24
Pages 1926-1933
ISSN 0195-668X
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
University of Gothenburg Centre for person-centred care (GPCC)
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 1926-1933
Language en
Keywords Adolescence, Epidemiology, Heart failure, Hospital admission
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


AIMS: To study the relation between body mass index (BMI) in young men and risk of early hospitalization with heart failure. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a prospective cohort study, men from the Swedish Conscript Registry investigated 1968-2005 (n = 1 610 437; mean age, 18.6 years were followed 5-42 years (median, 23.0 years; interquartile range, 15.0-32.0), 5492 first hospitalizations for heart failure occurred (mean age at diagnosis, 46.6 (SD 8.0) years). Compared with men with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-20.0 kg/m2, men with a BMI 20.0-22.5 kg/m2 had an hazard ratio (HR) of 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10-1.35), after adjustment for age, year of conscription, comorbidities at baseline, parental education, blood pressure, IQ, muscle strength, and fitness. The risk rose incrementally with increasing BMI such that men with a BMI of 30-35 kg/m2 had an adjusted HR of 6.47 (95% CI, 5.39-7.77) and those with a BMI of >/=35 kg/m2 had an HR of 9.21 (95% CI, 6.57-12.92). The multiple-adjusted risk of heart failure per 1 unit increase in BMI ranged from 1.06 (95% CI, 1.02-1.11) in heart failure associated with valvular disease to 1.20 (95% CI, 1.18-1.22) for cases associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension. CONCLUSION: We found a steeply rising risk of early heart failure detectable already at a normal body weight, increasing nearly 10-fold in the highest weight category. Given the current obesity epidemic, heart failure in the young may increase substantially in the future and physicians need to be aware of this.

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