MONDAY, Oct. 22, 2018 (HealthDay News) — High childhood body mass index (BMI) is strongly correlated with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE), according to a study published online Oct. 22 in Pediatrics.

Daniel C. Perry, Ph.D., from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from 597,017 children aged 5 to 6 years linked to a nationwide hospital admissions database to examine the strength of the association between SCFE and childhood obesity. Data were also examined for 39,468 children age 11 to 12 years.

The researchers found that 75 percent of children with obesity at 5 to 6 years old remained obese at 11 to 12 years old. A strong biological gradient was seen between childhood BMI at 5 to 6 years old and SCFE; for each integer increase in BMI z score, the risk for disease increased by a factor of 1.7. Among children with the lowest BMI, the risk for SCFE was almost negligible. Compared with those with a normal BMI, those with severe obesity at 5 to 6 years old had a 5.9 times greater risk for SCFE; severe obesity at 11 to 12 years old was associated with a 17.0 times greater risk for SCFE.

“The temporal relationship, dose response, and magnitude of the association build on the existing biological plausibility and findings in previous lower-quality studies to offer the strongest possible support for a causal relationship between childhood obesity and SCFE,” the authors write.

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