BACKGROUND: Higher body weight is a well-known determinant of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components. It is however less well studied how the change in weight from age 20 years to middle age or old age affects MetS development.
METHODS: In the community-based EpiHealth (n = 19,000, age range 45 to 75 years, 56% females) and PIVUS (n = 1000, all aged 70 years, 50% females) studies, the participants were asked about their body weight at age 20 years. Data were collected to determine MetS prevalence (NCEP ATP III criteria).
RESULTS: In EpiHealth, the probability of having MetS increased fairly linearly with increasing weight from age 20 in the obese [odds ratios (OR) 1.04 per kg change in weight, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.05, P < 0.0001], as well as in the overweight (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.14-1.17, P < 0.0001) and normal-weight (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.14-1.21, P < 0.0001), subjects after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) at age 20, alcohol intake, smoking, education, and exercise habits. Also in the PIVUS study, the change in weight over 50 years was related to prevalent MetS (OR 1.08 per kg change in weight, 95% CI 1.06-1.10, P < 0.0001). In both studies, self-reported BMI at age 20 was related to prevalent MetS.
CONCLUSION: Self-reported weight gain from age 20 was strongly and independently associated with prevalent MetS both in middle age or old age. Interestingly, this relationship was not restricted only to obese subjects. Our data provide additional support for the importance of maintaining a stable weight throughout life.
2017. Vol. 15, no 3, 112-117 p.