A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that even those who survived the trauma of a cancer diagnosis in childhood had an elevated risk of complications later in life.
The study’s authors said that male subjects who were not obese by the age of 20 were likely to live eight years longer than those who were. This was the very first study to examine data over such a long period of time, providing rare insight into the health effects of the condition.
There were, however, some caveats expressed. “The persistence of obesity may partly explain why obesity at 20 years of age has lifelong mortality effects, but it needs to be proven whether that is the full explanation or whether, by itself, being obese at an early age increases the risk of early death,” said the study’s lead author, Esther Zimmerman.
This news could raise the specter of increased life insurance premiums for those who suffered such a condition early in their life, though many such people may offset this by paying more careful attention to their lifestyle choice.