Longitudinal study of body mass index, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension in 60,000 men and women in Sweden and Austria

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Background: Obesity is suggested to underlie development of other metabolic aberrations, but longitudinal relationships between metabolic factors at various ages has not been studied in detail. Methods: Data from 27,379 men and 32,275 women with in total 122,940 health examinations in the Västerbotten Intervention Project, Sweden and the Vorarlberg Health Monitoring and Prevention Programme, Austria were used to investigate body mass index (BMI), mid-blood pressure, and fasting levels of glucose, triglycerides, and total cholesterol at baseline in relation to 10-year changes of these factors and weight. We included paired examinations performed 10-2 years apart and used them for longitudinal analysis with linear regression of changes between the ages 30 and 40, 40 and 50, or 50 and 60 years. Results: Higher levels of BMI were associated with increases in glucose and mid-blood pressure as well as triglycerides levels, and, to a lesser extent, decreases in cholesterol levels. For instance, per 5 kg/m2 higher BMI at age 40, glucose at age 50 increased by 0.24 mmol/l (95%CI: 0.22-0.26) and mid-blood pressure increased by 1.54 mm Hg (95%CI: 1.35-1.74). The strongest association observed was between BMI at age 30 and mid-blood pressure, which was 2.12 mm Hg (95% CI: 1.79-2.45) increase over ten years per 5 kg/m2 higher BMI level. This association was observed at an age when blood pressure levels on average remained stable. Other associations than those with BMI at baseline were much weaker. However, triglyceride levels were associated with future glucose changes among individuals with elevated BMI, particularly in the two older age groups. Conclusion: BMI was most indicative of long-term changes in metabolic factors, and the strongest impact was observed for increases in blood pressure between 30 and 40 years of age. Our study supports that lifestyle interventions preventing metabolic aberrations should focus on avoiding weight increases.




Van Hemelrijck, M., Ulmer, H., Nagel, G., Peter, R. S., Fritz, J., Myte, R., … Stocks, T. (2018). Longitudinal study of body mass index, dyslipidemia, hyperglycemia, and hypertension in 60,000 men and women in Sweden and Austria. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197830

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