New Stuff to Blog About and More

Study from American Heart Association:Obese Children and Their Arteries

A study that was just released by the American Heart Association, says that obese children as young as 10 had the arteries of 45-year-olds and other heart abnormalities that greatly raise their risk of heart disease.

According to the study, about a third of American children are overweight and one-fifth are obese. Many parents think that "baby fat" will melt away as kids get older. But research increasingly shows that fat kids become fat adults, with higher risks for many health problems.

Study highlights:

• The plaque buildup in the neck arteries of obese children or those with high cholesterol is similar to levels in middle-aged adults.
• Using ultrasound images, researchers equated the “vascular age” to be 45 years old in these children.
• Obese children who have high triglycerides are the most likely to have prematurely aging arteries; these children should be treated as high risk for cardiovascular disease, researchers concluded.

There’s a saying that ‘you’re as old as your arteries,’ meaning that the state of your arteries is more important than your actual age in the evolution of heart disease and stroke,” said Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine and cardiologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital. “We found that the state of the arteries in these children is more typical of a 45-year-old than of someone their own age.”

Subscribe to USA TODAY - 8 weeks for $15

Researchers used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the inner walls of the neck (carotid) arteries that supply blood to the brain. Increasing carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) indicates the fatty buildup of plaque within arteries feeding the heart muscle and the brain, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Investigators calculated CIMT in 34 boys and 36 girls who were “at-risk,” (average age 13, 89 percent white) and found:

• These children had abnormal levels of one or more types of cholesterol – elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as “bad cholesterol;” low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the “good cholesterol;” or high triglyceride levels.
• Forty (57 percent) had a body mass index (BMI, a calculation of weight for height) above the 95th percentile.

The children’s “vascular age” — the age at which the level of thickening would be normal for their gender and race — was about 30 years older than their actual age, Raghuveer said.

On average, these children had:
• total cholesterol levels of 223.4 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) (less than 170 is considered acceptable by American Heart Association recommendations);
• LDL cholesterol levels of 149.8 mg/dL (less than 110 is considered acceptable); and
• triglycerides levels of 151.9 mg/dL (below 150 is considered acceptable).

Researchers found that having a higher BMI and higher systolic blood pressure had the most impact on CIMT.

“Vascular age was advanced the furthest in the children with obesity and high triglyceride levels, so the combination of obesity and high triglycerides should be a red flag to the doctor that a child is at high risk of heart disease,” Raghuveer said.
Stumble It!

Us Weekly Magazine - Only 99c an issue! Save 75%!


Find it Here

Custom Search