Obese young men less likely to live to their 50s

Men who are obese in their early 20s are significantly less likely to live to middle age, according to a new study.

They are also up to eight times more likely to suffer diabetes, potentially fatal blood clots or suffer a heart attack.

It is already known adult obesity poses a risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it had not been clear if obesity in early adulthood strengthens that risk.

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Researchers tracked the health of 6,500 Danish 22-year-old men for 33 years up to the age of 55. All of them had been born in 1955.

Most, 83 per cent, were within the normal range and five per cent were underweight. One in ten were overweight and 1.5 per cent (97) were obese.

Almost half of those classified as obese at the age of 22 were diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, blood clots or had died before the age of 55. They were eight times as likely to get diabetes as their normal weight peers and four times as likely to get a potentially fatal blood clot.

The researchers said: “Obesity related morbidity and mortality will, in decades to come, place an unprecedented burden on healthcare systems worldwide.”

The findings were published in the online journal BMJ Open.