Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Obese adolescents at same risk of premature death as those that smoke

  • Comment
Obesity during adolescence puts people at the same risk of premature death at those that smoke, according to researchers.

A team from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden reviewed data on cause of the death of 45,920 men who underwent national mandatory military conscription tests.

BMI and smoking status were recorded at outset and the men were followed up for an average of 38 years, during which 2,897 died.

The incidence of death was lowest for people with normal weight and highest in obese subjects. Being overweight at the age of 18 increased the risk of premature death by just over a third, while being obese more than doubled the risk.

This risk of early death also increased the more participants smoked, with heavy smokers at more than double the risk of premature death compared to non-smokers.

Lead author Dr Martin Neovius, a post-doctorate fellow at the institute, said: ‘The findings indicate that from a mortality perspective targets for young men should be within the non-smoking, normal weight range, and that overweight, obesity, and smoking among adolescents might be good targets for intensified public health initiatives.’

BMJ 2009;338:b496 doi:10.1136/bmj.b496

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs