Body Mass Index in Childhood May Predict Stroke Risk in Adulthood

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An above-average BMI z score at ages 7 to 13 years was positively associated with early ischemic stroke.
An above-average BMI z score at ages 7 to 13 years was positively associated with early ischemic stroke.

HealthDay News — Above-average childhood body mass index (BMI) and increases in BMI during childhood are associated with increased risk of early adult ischemic stroke, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology.

Line K. Gjaerde, MD, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study of schoolchildren born from 1930 to 1987 with follow-up through national health registers from 1977 to 2012. Data were included for 307,677 individuals with measured weight and height at ages 7 to 13 years.

The researchers found that 3529 women and 5370 men experienced an ischemic stroke during the study period. An above-average BMI z score at ages 7 to 13 years was positively associated with early ischemic stroke.

A BMI z score of 1 at age 13 years was associated with hazard ratios of 1.26 and 1.21 in women and men, respectively. There were no significant correlations for below-average BMI z scores. Among children with above-average BMI z scores at age 7 years, an increase in score of 0.5 from ages 7 to 13 correlated with early ischemic stroke among women and men (hazard ratios, 1.1 and 1.08, respectively). Similar trends were seen for children with below-average BMI z scores at age 7 years and an increase in score of 0.5 from ages 7 to 13 (hazard ratios, 1.14 and 1.1, respectively).

"These results suggest that all children should be helped to attain and maintain healthy weights," the authors write.

Reference

Gjærde LK, Gamborg M, Ängquist L, et al. Association of childhood body mass index and change in body mass index with first adult ischemic stroke [published online August 21, 2017]. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.1627

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