New research has revealed that childhood obesity is causing growing number of adolescents to develop the Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) hip disease requiring immediate surgery.
The research was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool, University of Oxford, University of Aberdeen and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The results were published in the journal Paediatrics.
According to the findings of the research, children who were obese at five years old had a 75% likelihood of remaining obese when they were 12 years old.
The research also found that children with severe obesity at five years old had almost 20 times the risk of developing SCFE than a thin child.
Around 600,000 children participated in the research in Scotland, where their body mass index (BMI) were measured and collected during routine school health screening.
University of Liverpool Orthopaedic Surgery senior lecturer Daniel Perry said: “Surgeons have long suspected that childhood obesity was the cause of this disease, and these results make it very clear.
“It is important that doctors who treat children are aware of SCFE, especially amongst children with obesity.
“Identifying SCFE early means children typically only need relatively simple surgery, however children identified later often require high-risk reconstructive surgery.”
University of Aberdeen professor Paediatrics Professor Steve Turner said: “SCFE has a profound affect on the quality of lives of adolescents. The link with obesity is striking – there are few other diseases in children that occur directly as a consequence of obesity, and this disease causes lifelong problems for the child.”
SCFE mostly attacks teenagers and is estimated to affect one in 2,000 children.
The disease results in hip deform, and sometimes lead to life-long disability. It is commonly found to be reason behind a hip replacement in young adults, and sometimes children.