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Analysis of the Black Women's Health Study shows that obesity as a teenager may be associated with increased risk of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) in adulthood.
The relationship between obesity and SLE risk is unclear. Past studies have predominantly assessed white women, while black women have higher prevalence of both obesity and SLE.
Researchers analyzed the correlations between body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and incident SLE within the Black Women's Health Study (median age 38 at entry in 1995).
Overall, adult obesity was not related to SLE risk (comparing BMI ≥30 to normal BMI). However obesity (BMI ≥30) at age 18 was associated with increased risk: HR 2.38 (95% CI 1.26-4.51) for ≥30 vs. normal BMI.
In black women, obesity as a teenager was associated with increased SLE risk in adulthood. Further studies are necessary to understand this association.