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Overweight teen boys have increased risk of stroke

RISK: Overweight boys have increased risk of stroke

ACCORDING TO a new study, boys who get fat in their teenage years are much more likely to suffer a life-threatening stroke as an adult.

Swedish researchers suspect the association could be down to the effects of high blood pressure, a known risk factor for strokes.

The study was carried out by researchers from the Centre for Bone and Arthritis Research, the Institute of Medicine, the Bioinformatics Core Facility, the Institute of Biomedicine, the Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, and the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. It involved almost 40,000 Swedish men, who were followed from childhood through to adulthood.

Researchers found men whose weight was normal at the age of 8, but who were overweight at the age of 20, had an 80% higher risk of having a stroke compared with men whose weight remained healthy throughout their teenage years.

The good news is the researchers found overweight teen boys who managed to slim down by adulthood only had a slightly raised risk that wasn't considered to be significant.

Much of the data was taken from school and military records, which means the range of available data is somewhat limited.

Other factors that might have contributed to stroke risk, such as smoking, exercise or socioeconomic group, weren't recorded, so couldn't be taken into account.

This limitation aside, the study does add more evidence to the general consensus that being overweight increases the risk of a number of adverse health outcomes, including stroke.

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