Middle- age obesity greatly increases the risk of hospitalization and death from heart disease and diabetes in older age, even in the absence of established risk factors, says a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
An assistant professor of preventive medicine, Lijing Yan and colleagues at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, evaluated the link between body mass index (BMI) in early life with hospitalization and subsequent death from cardiovascular disease and diabetes in people 65 year and beyond.
The subjects were men and women aged between 31years to 64 years, who were free of coronary heart disease, diabetes or major heart rhythm abnormalities at the start of the study. They were classified as low, moderate, intermediate and high risk, based on a criteria relating to blood pressure and its treatment protocol, total cholesterol level, bodyweight and smoking.
The study reveals that having a normal BMI in young adulthood and middle age confers significant health benefits, inspite of traditional risk factors, and that there was a consistent propensity in obese middle-aged men and women toward hospitalization for and death from coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease diabetes in older age.
Prof.Yan said,"These outcomes are important to investigate in an era of population aging marked by an unprecedented large number of older adults resulting from dramatic improvements in life expectancy for the entire population."