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Research Letter
September 3, 2019

Association of Blood Marker of Inflammation in Late Adolescence With Premature Mortality

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
  • 4Department of Nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 6Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 7Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 8Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 9Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 10Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(11):1095-1097. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.2835

Inflammation is implicated in various diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Despite increasing interest in the role of childhood and adolescent exposures in later-life disease, little is known about the long-term implications of early inflammation. Here, we evaluate the association of inflammation in late adolescence as measured by erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) with cause-specific mortality among ostensibly healthy men assessed for conscription in the Swedish military.

This study is drawn from a cohort of 248 488 men born between 1952 and 1956 who were assessed for compulsory military conscription at age 16 to 20 years, at which time physical and psychological examinations were completed and blood samples were collected. Analyses were restricted to adolescents with no known health conditions or marked physical weakness (n = 108 443) and excluded men missing ESR data or covariates, resulting in a final sample of 106 120 men. Permissions for this study were granted by Regional Ethical Review Board in Uppsala, Sweden, and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board. Informed consent was waived because we used deidentified national register data and had no contact with study participants.