When Danish researchers say past habits will come back to haunt, they mean it.
According to a recent study — conducted with the help of 6,500 Danish males over the course of 33 years (from age 22 to 55, starting in 1977) — young men who are obese in their younger years (20s) are considerably more likely to develop a serious, even life-threatening illness by the time they reach middle age. A majority of the study subjects were within the normal weight range at the onset of the study (83 percent; 5,407), with 5 percent being under weight (353), 639 being overweight and 97 being characterized as obese.
The findings revealed that nearly half of those who were labeled obese at the age of 22 were diagnosed with either diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or had expired by age 55. Researchers distinguished these obese patients as “eight times as likely to get diabetes as their normal weight peers and four times as likely to get a potentially fatal blood clot (venous thromboembolism) as well as “more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, have had a heart attack, or to have died.”
Overall, those men who were obese when they were young were deemed three times more apt to develop a hazardous condition by 55, securing a 50 percent likelihood over the 20 percent likelihood present within their normal weight peers.
"Obesity related morbidity and mortality will, in decades to come, place an unprecedented burden on healthcare systems worldwide," the authors declared.
The study was published in the latest edition of the journal BMJ Open.