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Obese Children At Greater Risk of Developing Heart Disease and Diabetes

Severity of obesity associated with higher value of low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C levels.

Obesity has been a topic of concern over the past decade. More than 3 million children in the United States who are severely obese are likely to develop heart disease and diabetes, according to the study, which was published in New England Journal of Medicine. Moreover, the study also found out boys and young men with a severe form of obesity had higher cardiometabolic risk factors.

The cross-sectional study was conducted from 1999 through 2012, and data was collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In the study, 8,579 participants were overweight or obese children, and were 3 to 19 years of age. This study was focused on the association of multiple cardiometabolic risk factors and the severity of obesity. A body-mass index (BMI) greater than 20 percent of the 95th percentile and greater than 140 percent of the 95th percentile were defined as severe forms of obesity. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels were included in the measurement.

The results showed participants with greater severity of obesity had higher cardiometabolic variables, and male participants had higher values than female participants. In conclusion, the greater the severity of obesity, the higher the value of low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and hemoglobin A1c levels.

The study is helping people to put more attention on kids with a more severe form of obesity. It is very important to find a way to help reduce obesity in children, especially in the male population. Children with severe obesity are highly recommended to be screened for heart disease and diabetes in their early life.

Practice Pearls:

  • A cross-sectional study of children with severe forms of obesity are likely to have heart disease and diabetes.
  • Severity of obesity is associated with the higher value of a low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C levels.
  • Children with severe obesity are highly recommended to for heart disease and diabetes screenings in their early life.

Asheley C. Skinner, Eliana M. Perrin, Leslie A. Moss, Joseph A. Skelton. “Cardiometabolic Risks and Severity of Obesity in Children and Young Adults.” New England Journal of Medicine, 2015; 373 (14): 1307