HealthDay (10/9, Dallas, 5K) reports that according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging, “obese young people may already be showing the warning signs of heart disease.” The study included 101 youngsters “between the ages of nine and 16,” 61 of whom were obese. Researchers “found negative changes in the shape and function of the hearts of these children, compared to their normal-weight peers.”

Medscape (10/9, 215K) reports, “compared with the nonobese group, the obese children had thicker [left ventricular (LV)] walls, a 29% larger LV end-diastolic volume, and a 40% larger LV mass.” In addition, “left atrial (LA) volume, LA volume index, right atrial area, and right ventricular diameter were…significantly larger in the obese children.” The study authors posited that “the differences in blood pressure, even though they were within the normal range in the obese group, might be responsible for the changes in cardiac geometry.”

CardioSource (10/9, 2K) reported that a related comment observed, “although the total prevalence of obesity remains lower in children than in adults, the rate of increase in childhood obesity has been nearly double that in adults.” This is “particularly worrisome because obese children are much more likely than are normal-weight children to become obese adults.” Still “more disconcerting are the observations that obese children are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared with adults, and that subsequent weight loss may not entirely eliminate that excess risk.” To view the full JACC articles, click here and here.

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