Overweight Kids Already Have Risk Factors For Heart DiseaseEditor's Choice
Main Category: Pediatrics / Children's Health
Also Included In: Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness; Heart Disease
Article Date: 24 Jul 2012 - 0:00 PST
Overweight Kids Already Have Risk Factors For Heart Disease
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The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing worldwide, now researchers say that 2 out of 3 severely obese children have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The study is published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
The findings from the study are based on data supplied by pediatricians to the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance Unit.
Between 2005 and 2007 in The Netherlands, doctors treating new cases of severe obesity in children aged 2-18 were asked to supply data on patient's cardiovascular risk factors, including lipids, fasting blood glucose levels, and high blood pressure.
Children aged 2 are considered severely obese if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 20.5+, children aged 12 are considered obese if their BMI is 31+, and 18 year olds are considered obese if their BMI is 35+.
During the study period, the majority of pediatricians supplied data to the surveillance unit each month on every severely obese child they treated. In total, information on 500 children was provided.
The pediatricians were then contacted again and asked to provide further information. 363 responded and 307 of their patients were correctly classified as severely obese.
Of the 307 children, 52% were boys. According to the researchers boys were more likely to be severely obese at a younger age, while girls were more likely to be severely obese at the older end of the age spectrum. Full data on cardiovascular risk factors was available for 255 of the children.
The researchers found that 67% of the severely obese children had at least one cardiovascular risk factor:
- 55% had high blood pressure
- 54% had high levels of low density 'bad' cholesterol
- 14% had high fasting blood glucose
- just under 1% had type 2 diabetes
Furthermore, almost 1 in 3 of the children came from single parent families.
The researchers explained:
"The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose in [these children] is worrying, considering the increasing prevalence worldwide of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Likewise, the high prevalence of hypertension and abnormal lipids may lead to cardiovascular disease in young adulthood.
Internationally accepted criteria for defining severe obesity and guidelines for early detection and treatment of severe obesity and [underlying ill health] are urgently needed."
Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
17 Jun. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248153.php>
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