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

at) above the 95th percentile for their sex, age and height.

To be eligible to participate in the study, the children and adolescents had to have normal fasting blood sugar levels, normal blood pressure and normal cholesterol and triglycerides. Lean controls also could not have a close relative with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or obesity. The latter group proved very difficult to find.

All study participants underwent blood testing for known markers for predicting the development of cardiovascular disease. These included elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, and abnormally high fibrinogen, a clotting factor, among others. Obese children had a 10 fold higher CRP and significantly higher fibrinogen concentrations, compared with age- and sex-matched lean children, the authors reported. These abnormalities occurred in obese children as young as age 7, long before the onset of puberty.

The results were striking Mauras stated, as the children were entirely healthy otherwise. Although it is not yet known whether early therapeutic interventions can reverse high CRP and fibrinogen, she said it would be prudent for health care providers to advise more aggressive interventions to limit calories and increase activity in "healthy" overweight children, even before the onset of puberty.

"Doctors often do not treat obesity in children now unless they have other features of the metabolic syndrome," Mauras said. "This practice should be reconsidered. Further studies are needed to offer more insight into the effects of therapeutic interventions in these children.


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Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

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