Navigation Links
Young, apparently healthy -- and at risk of heart disease

Vancouver Atherosclerosis or buildup of fat in the walls of arteries − is thought of as a disorder of older people but it affects a large number of young men and women, according to a new Heart and Stroke Foundation study.

"The proportion of young, apparently healthy adults who are presumably 'the picture of health' who already have atherosclerosis is staggering," says Dr. Eric Larose, an interventional cardiologist at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Qubec and an assistant professor at Universit Laval.

Atherosclerosis can eventually lead to serious problems including heart disease, stroke, or even death.

The study enrolled 168 young adults (age 18 to 35) half male and half female who had no known cardiovascular disease or risk factors such as family history of premature heart disease, diabetes, smoking, high blood cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

The team took complete body measurements, including height, weight, body-mass index and waist circumference. They also measured, through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), various body fat deposits including subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin that you can measure with calipers) as well as fat within and around the abdomen and chest including the amount of intra-abdominal or visceral fat. Ultimately, they measured atherosclerosis volumes of the carotid arteries by MRI.

The researchers found that although a large proportion of subjects didn't have traditional risk factors for atherosclerosis, they did have discrete signs: greater waist circumference, and visceral fat covering the internal organs within the chest and abdomen. Visceral fat is difficult to detect because it surrounds the organs deep inside the body, unlike the fat under our skin than can be easily detected in the mirror or with a pinch of the fingers.

"We know obesity is a bad thing," says Dr. Larose "but we're dropping the ball on a large proportion of young adults who don't meet traditional measures of obesity such as weight and BMI."

He says their message is that beyond simple weight and BMI, measures of fat hidden within (visceral fat) are greater predictors of atherosclerosis. The people with greater visceral fat will have greater atherosclerosis, even if they are young and apparently healthy − and could benefit from preventive lifestyle measures.

Dr. Larose adds that despite having normal weight and BMI, young adults with greater visceral fat have greater atherosclerosis burden, therefore greater risk for clinical events including heart attack and stroke in the long run. "We were encouraged to find that in this young and apparently healthy population, an easy way to measure risk in the doctor's office is through waist circumference," he says.

At any given BMI, an enlarged waist circumference measured with a simple tailor's ribbon was predictive of increased visceral adiposity and of premature atherosclerosis. The prediction of visceral adiposity and of atherosclerosis was almost as precise as by MRI.

Dr. Larose's study verifies earlier research that found that as many as 80 percent of young Americans killed in war or in car accidents had premature and subclinical (hidden) atherosclerosis.

The strength of the present findings is in measuring atherosclerosis in live individuals instead of waiting for an autopsy, and in finding a simple office-based solution in waist circumference.

These results may improve our ability to identify early individuals in need of more robust preventive support to slow the progression of their atherosclerosis.

Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in Canada, says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "Someone in this country dies from heart disease or stroke every seven minutes," she says. "The good news is that heart disease and stroke are largely preventable by undertaking heart healthy behavior."

She says that the results of this Canadian study form a critical piece of the puzzle. Many of us have risk factors for heart disease and stroke, even if they aren't immediately evident, and it is important to start early in preventing disease.

"You can think of it as a ticking time bomb inside your body that might explode later in life," says Dr. Abramson. "There is a lot you can do to defuse the explosion."

Dr. Abramson recommends that all Canadians follow a healthy diet, be physically active, know and control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy weight, be tobacco-free, reduce stress, manage diabetes and limit alcohol consumption. She says that Canadians can ask their healthcare providers to help them reach their goals.

"My message to young adults is that you are not superhuman, you're not immune to risk factors," says Dr. Abramson. "It's important to manage your risk factors at all ages. Lifestyle will eventual catch up with you. You are never too young to prevent heart disease."

The study was presented today at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.


Contact: Amanda Bates
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Related medicine news :

1. Test could detect breast cancers earlier in young, high-risk African-American women
2. UNC study finds oral tongue cancer increasing in young, white females
3. Snow Shoveling Injuries Affect Old and Young, Expert Warns
4. Stomach Cancer on the Rise Among Young, White Adults
5. Strokes Up Among the Young, Down Among the Old
6. Warning about benevolent sexism and mens apparently positive attitudes towards women
7. New blood test may help predict heart failure in apparently healthy older adults
8. Healthy Halloween Advice for Children With Diabetes
9. Simple lifestyle changes can add a decade or more healthy years to the average lifespan
10. Autistic brains develop more slowly than healthy brains UCLA researchers say
11. New study shows soy protein improves lipid profile in healthy individuals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will run ... purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head Check ... lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... Consistent with the Radiology Business ... Better Radiology Marketing Programs meeting will showcase some of the best 2015 ... Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a pre-conference session on a collaborative approach ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Health-E-minds, an innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated ... This partnership will bridge the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Francisco, California (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Janis Joplin Ann Arbor Michigan boxing style concert posters. This is one of Joplin's ... at the Canterbury House at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and Cambridge ... imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now ... their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el ... nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> Clinical ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Cardiac Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac ... " report to their offering. ... Boston scientific and others. --> ... Medtronic, Biotronik, Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: