Teen Obesity Linked to MS Risk

A recent study have found that obesity may be linked to greater MS risk. According to a study published on the November issue of the American Academy of Neurology medical journal Neurology, teenage women who are obese may be twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis as adults as compared to female teens who are not overweight.

The said study involved 238,371 women participants coming from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Nurses’ Health Study II. The women, whose ages ranged from 25 to 55 years old, answered a questionnaire concerning their health behavior and other personal medical information every two years. Over the course of the study that spanned 40 years, there were 593 participants who developed multiple sclerosis.

The participants of the study also included reporting their weight and height starting from age 18. The researchers were then able to calculate for their body mass index or BMI. The women participants were also asked to choose one of nine body silhouettes that range from very thin to extremely obese. They were also asked to describe their body size from ages five, ten and 20 years old.

During the course of the study, the scientists found out that women with a BMI of 30 or bigger at age 18 also had two times the risk of developing multiple sclerosis as compared to teenage female participants with BMI ranging from 18.5 to 20.9.

Females with a larger body size at five and ten years old was not associated with MS risk. Only those who had larger body sizes from age 18 to 20 years old seem to have an increased risk of developing MS. The results suggest that weight during adolescence rather than during childhood and adulthood may be critical in determining MS risk.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-11/aaon-tol110309.php