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BMI change during puberty and the risk of heart failure

Journal article
Authors Jenny Kindblom
Maria Bygdell
Arvid Sondén
Jimmy Célind
Annika Rosengren
Claes Ohlsson
Published in Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume 283
Issue 6
Pages 558-567
ISSN 0954-6820
Publication year 2018
Published at Core Facilities, Bioinformatics
Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 558-567
Language en
Keywords Body Mass Index, childhood, cohort study, Heart failure, puberty, body-mass index, childhood obesity, young-adults, mortality, adolescence, association, morbidity, sweden, trends, impact, General & Internal Medicine
Subject categories Internal medicine


Aim. Hospitalization for heart failure amongst younger men has increased. The reason for this is unknown but it coincides with the obesity epidemic. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between childhood BMI (Body Mass Index) and BMI change during puberty for risk of adult heart failure in men. Methods. Using the BMI Epidemiology Study (BEST), a population-based study in Gothenburg, Sweden, we collected information on childhood BMI at age 8 years and BMI change during puberty (BMI at age 20 - BMI at 8) for men born 1945-1961, followed until December 2013 (n = 37 670). BMI was collected from paediatric growth charts and mandatory military conscription tests. Information on heart failure was retrieved from high-quality national registers (342 first hospitalizations for heart failure). Results. BMI change during puberty was independently of childhood BMI associated with risk of heart failure in a nonlinear J-shaped manner. Subjects in the upper quartile of BMI change during puberty (Q4) had more than twofold increased risk of heart failure compared with subjects in Q1 [HR (Hazard Ratio) = 2.29, 95% CI (Confidence Interval) 1.68-3.12]. Childhood BMI was not independently associated with risk of heart failure. Boys developing overweight during puberty (HR 3.14; 95% CI 2.25-4.38) but not boys with childhood overweight that normalized during puberty (HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.63-2.00) had increased risk of heart failure compared with boys without childhood or young adult overweight. Conclusion. BMI change during puberty is a novel risk factor for adult heart failure in men.

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