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Predictors and cardiometabolic risk of obesity trajectories over a life period from childhood

Dr Jing Tian, Institution: University of Tasmania

2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2021-2024


Overweight and obesity are major contributors to cardiometabolic disease – the leading cause of illness and death in Australia and around the world, and their prevalence is high in Australia. In 2014-15, nearly two out of three (63%) Australian adults and over one quarter (27.4%) of Australian children and adolescents aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese. Overweight and obese children have relatively little chance of becoming normal-weight adults.

However, if they do achieve a normal weight in young adulthood, they appear to have similar cardiometabolic health to their peers who are normal weight in both childhood and young adulthood. The International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort (i3C) Consortium includes 7 large cohorts with measured cardiometabolic risk factors in childhood and follow-up into adulthood.

Using data from over 40,000 participants in the i3C Consortium and taking advantage of long-term follow-up (up to 49 years), I aim to fill a gap in knowledge and understanding of how adiposity (including body mass index and abdominal obesity) tracks from childhood to midlife, their importance in determining midlife cardiometabolic consequences including disease events and the predisposing factors that predict adherence to those trajectories.

Understanding these are important for identifying key intervention opportunities where people on a high-risk weight trajectory could be diverted to a healthier path, thereby tackling the urgent unmet need for effective obesity management strategies.

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