May 20, 2020
1 min read

Childhood BMI, birth weight linked to hidradenitis suppurativa in adulthood

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Astrid-Helene Ravn Jørgensen
Astrid-Helene Ravn Jørgensen

Childhood BMI was significantly associated with hidradenitis suppurativa development in adulthood, according to a study published in JAMA Dermatology.

“There is a correlation between both birth weight and childhood obesity and the risk of developing hidradenitis suppurative. Interestingly, the increased risk is neutralized if the obese child returns to normal weight before puberty,” lead author Astrid-Helene Ravn Jørgensen, MD, told Healio in email correspondence.

The cohort study included 347,200 Danish children born between 1930 and 1996. Between the ages of 7 and 13 years, weight and height were measured by school doctors or nurses, and birth weight was reported by parents.

HS was diagnosed in 1,037 of the individuals included in the analysis, of which 677 were female.

Childhood obesity affected hidradenitis suppurativa development.
Childhood BMI was significantly associated with hidradenitis suppurativa development in adulthood.

Both the lightest (2 kg to 2.75 kg; HR = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.10-1.68) and heaviest (4.26 kg to 5.5 kg; HR = 1.39; 95% CI, 1.01-1.93) children at birth showed an increased risk for developing HS compared with those in the normal weight range (3.26 kg to 3.75 kg).

Longitudinal growth analyses showed children with increasing BMI z-scores at each age from 7 to 13 years also had a higher risk for developing HS. In addition, those who had a normal weight at age 7 years but were overweight at the age of 13 years had a significantly higher risk for HS (HR = 2.11, 95% CI, 1.63-2.74). Children with persistent overweight at 7 years and 13 years had an increased risk for HS compared with those who were a normal weight at both ages (HR = 2.61; 95% CI, 2.02-3.38).

“It is very uplifting to see that the children who were overweight when they started school but who became normal weight during school years neutralized their risk of developing HS. From a prevention perspective, it is interesting that if we can identify and assist children who are heading in the wrong direction with their weight, we might influence the risk of developing HS,” Jørgensen wrote. “Early body weight monitoring provides the opportunity to implement preventive measures aimed at reducing BMI and HS development. For treating clinicians, this monitoring may be particularly relevant in children with a hereditary predisposition to HS.” – by Rebecca L. Forand


Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.