Obese adolescents with no symptoms of heart disease already have heart damage, according to new research.
The findings were presented at the Heart Failure Congress 2012, 19-22 May, in Belgrade, Serbia. The Congress is the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.
Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and previous research has shown that obese adults have structural and functional changes to their hearts. The current study (abstract P843) investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cardiac function in overweight and obese adolescents with no symptoms of heart disease.
For the study, 97 healthy adolescents had their weight, height, waist circumference and hip circumference measured. BMI and waist/hip ratio were calculated. Blood and biochemistry tests and an echocardiogram were performed. Based on their BMI, patients were divided into three groups: lean (L=32 patients), overweight (Ov=33 patients) and obese (Ob=32 patients).
Several measures of heart size were made using information from the echocardiogram. Interventricular septal and left ventricular posterior wall thickness increased as BMI increased (L: 0.84+0.1 cm, Ov: 0.88+0.1 cm, Ob: 0.96+0.1cm, p=0.001; and L: 0.78+0.1 cm, Ov: 0.8+0.1 cm, Ob: 0.94+0.1cm, p=0.001, respectively).
Relative wall thickness and left ventricular mass index also increased in parallel to BMI (L: 0.34+0.05, Ov: 0.34+0.05, Ob: 0.40+0.04, p=0.001; and L: 47.7+8.4 g/m2, Ov: 51.9+8.3 g/m2, Ob: 65.2+13.3 g/m2, p=0.001, respectively).
Measures of heart function were also performed. Left ventricular early diastolic lateral and septal velocities were reduced only in obese adolescents (L: 15.3+3.9cm/s, Ov: 13.6+4 cm/s, Ob: 10.5+3.4 cm/s, p=0.001; and L: 1
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European Society of Cardiology