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Childhood obesity is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in adult life but it is not known whether this increased risk applies only to obese children who become obese adults. An analysis of data from four studies (New England Journal of Medicine 2011;365:1876–85; see also editorial, ibid: 1927–9) has shown that obese children who are not obese as adults are not at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia or carotid artery atherosclerosis. From the US Bogalusa Heart Study and Muscatine Study, the Australian Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study, and the Finnish Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS) data were analysed for a total of 6328 subjects. The average length of follow-up was 23 years. Compared with subjects who had a normal body mass index (BMI) as children and as adults, subjects who were overweight or obese throughout had a 5.4-fold increase in risk of type 2 diabetes, a 2.7-fold increase in risk of hypertension, a 1.8-fold increase in risk of high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, a 2.1-fold increase in risk of low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, a 3.0-fold increase in risk of high triglyceride levels, and a 1.7-fold increase …

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