Overweight and obese adolescents and those who smoke are at greater risk of adult premature mortality, according to the results of a large, long-term Swedish study. In the 38-year study of almost 46 000 Swedish men from late adolescence onward, researchers analysed the effects of underweight, overweight, obesity, and smoking status on mortality. Incidence of premature death was lowest in normal-weight men and highest in obese men. Extremely underweight (BMI <17) participants also had a significantly increased risk of premature death. Risk gradually increased with the number of cigarettes smoked daily, and being obese was as hazardous as smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day. Despite these trends, there appeared to be no significant synergistic effects between BMI and smoking status, although the combination of heavy smoking and obesity was associated with a large increase in the risk of premature death.
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