To test the hypothesis that adolescent obesity would be associated with greater risks of adverse health in severely obese adults.
Before weight loss surgery, adult participants in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 underwent detailed anthropometric and comorbidity assessment. Weight status at age 18 was retrospectively determined. Participants who were ≥80% certain of recalled height and weight at age 18 (1502 of 2308) were included. Log binomial regression was used to evaluate whether weight status at age 18 was independently associated with risk of comorbid conditions at time of surgery controlling for potential confounders.
Median age and adult body mass index (BMI) were 47 years and 46, respectively. At age 18, 42% of subjects were healthy weight, 29% overweight, 16% class 1 obese, and 13% class ≥2 obese. Compared with healthy weight at age 18, class ≥2 obesity at age 18 independently increased the risk of lower-extremity venous edema with skin manifestations by 435% (P < .0001), severe walking limitation by 321% (P < .0001), abnormal kidney function by 302% (P < .0001), polycystic ovary syndrome by 74% (P = .03), asthma by 48% (P = .01), diabetes by 42% (P < .01), obstructive sleep apnea by 25% (P < .01), and hypertension (by varying degrees based on age and gender). Conversely, the associated risk of hyperlipidemia was reduced by 61% (P < .01).
Severe obesity at age 18 was independently associated with increased risk of several comorbid conditions in adults undergoing bariatric surgery.