Kids born to overweight moms may face higher heart risks as adults

Nov. 20, 2014, HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

Overweight or obese women who get pregnant are much more likely to have a child who suffers from heart disease as an adult, new research suggests.

But it looks like environment may play a greater role than genetics in that trend, the researchers added. Continue reading

A third of school-age kids may have risky cholesterol levels

March 28, 2014, NPR [Shots Blog]

By Linda Poon

Of all the things parents worry about when it comes to their children’s health, high cholesterol probably isn’t very high on the list.

But roughly one in three primary school kids may already have borderline-high or high cholesterol, according to a large study to be presented this week at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology. And while the cholesterol may not be causing any evident problems for those children now, researchers say, it could already be starting to harden and narrow their arteries, paving the way for heart disease and stroke down the road.

In fact, previous research has suggested that a child’s total cholesterol level is the single greatest predictor of whether he or she will have extremely high cholesterol as an adult, says Thomas Seery, a pediatric cardiologist at the Texas Children’s Hospital and the study’s lead author. Continue reading

Higher blood pressure at 18 means hardening arteries at 40

Feb. 4, 2014, NPR [Shots Blog]

By Maanvi Singh

Young people in their teens and early 20s probably aren’t thinking about heart disease. But maybe it’s time they did.

People who have slightly higher blood pressure when they’re ages 18 to 25 are more likely to have high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries in their 40s, a study says. About one quarter of the people in this study were in that group.

“We need to be aware that what happens when we’re young adults is going to have an impact,” says Norrina Allen, an epidemiologist and the study’s lead author.

She and her colleagues at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine looked at data from 4,600 men and women in Chicago, Birmingham, Ala., Minneapolis, and Oakland, Calif., who have been followed for over 25 years. About 19 percent of the people had blood pressure that was consistently higher than their peers. Another 5 percent started with higher blood pressure that then rose over time. Continue reading

Elevated blood pressure increasing among children

July 15, 2013, Los Angeles Times

By Monte Morin

The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and teens has risen 27 percent over a 13-year period, and is probably caused by over-consumption of salt and rising obesity, according to a new study.

In a paper published July 14 inĀ Hypertension, a journal of theĀ American Heart Association (AHA), researchers examined health and nutrition data for more than 11,600 children ages 8 to 17. Continue reading

Type 2 diabetes progresses faster in kids, study finds

HealthDay, HealthDay

By Serena Gordon

Type 2 diabetes is more aggressive in children than adults, with signs of serious complications seen just a few years after diagnosis, new research finds.

“Based on the latest results, it seems like type 2 is progressing more rapidly in children,” said Dr. Jane Chiang, senior vice president of medical affairs and community information for the American Diabetes Association. “Complications are appearing faster, and it appears to be at a more significant rate than we see in adults.”

The results are alarming, Chiang and other experts said. “If these children continue to progress this rapidly, we could see many of the consequences of type 2 diabetes at a much younger age, like kidney disease and heart disease,” she said. Continue reading

Children on track for a heart attack

May 6, 2013, The Wall Street Journal

Do you know how old your kids’ arteries are?

It’s a potentially important question as scientists increasingly uncover links between healthy habits in childhood and risk for heart disease later in life. And there are growing concerns about the cardiovascular health of millions of children in the United States who are considered obese or overweight.

A new study suggests there is a simple way to assess a child’s arterial health with a calculation based on an often-overlooked component of cholesterol: triglycerides. Continue reading