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Childhood obesity alone may increase risk of later cardiovascular disease
Date:1/26/2010

By as early as 7 years of age, being obese may raise a child's risk of future heart disease and stroke, even in the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

"This new study demonstrates that the unhealthy consequences of excess body fat start very early," said Nelly Mauras, MD, of Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and senior author of the study. "Our study shows that obesity alone is linked to certain abnormalities in the blood that can predispose individuals to developing cardiovascular disease early in adulthood.

These findings suggest that we need more aggressive interventions for weight control in obese children, even those who do not have the co-morbidities of the metabolic syndrome."

The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that raise the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It is being increasingly diagnosed in children as being overweight becomes a greater problem. Although debate exists as to its exact definition, to receive a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, one must have at least three of the following characteristics: increased waist circumference (abdominal fat), low HDL ("good") cholesterol, high triglycerides (fats in the blood), high blood pressure and high blood glucose (blood sugar).

Mauras and her colleagues wanted to know if obesity could raise cardiovascular disease risk prior to the onset of the metabolic syndrome. Researchers therefore screened more than 300 individuals ages 7 to 18 years and included only those without features of the metabolic syndrome. They included 202 participants in the study: 115 obese children and 87 lean children as controls. Half of the children were prepubertal and the other half were in late puberty. Obese children had a body mass index (a measure of body f
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Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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