March 13, 2009

In The News: Cardiovascular Precociousness

Troubling news courtesy of the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: "overweight children as young as age 3 can begin to show signs of cardiovascular disease risk factors."


The study specifically analyzed levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol and C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker that accurately predicts cardiovascular disease) in 3,098 children between the ages of 3 and 6.

Results? Low HDL and high C-reactive protein levels were found in children with high BMIs and large waist circumferences.

This is particularly disturbing since 24 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight, and 12 percent classify as obese.

Additionally, while it is common knowledge that heart disease is a "pediatric" disease in the sense that the damage often begins in childhood, many people don't see clinical markers until later in life. This certainly begs for a different viewpoint.

One also can't help but wonder about possible health consequences when obesity begins as early as age three.

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