Heart attack at age 7?
Heart dangers found in very young, obese children.
Obese children as young as 7 have worrying levels of compounds
linked to heart disease and heart attacks, US researchers have reported.
They found that obese youngsters had up to 10 times the normal
amount of a compound that reflects inflammation, and another that helps
blood to clot - both known to raise the risk of heart attacks and
heart disease in adults.
"Our study finding suggests that we need more aggressive
interventions for weight control in obese children," said Dr. Nelly
Mauras of Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, who led
Obesity is hard to measure in children but pediatricians generally
classify a child as obese if he or she is in the 95th percentile of
weight for their age.
Mauras and colleagues studied 202 healthy children, 115 of them obese, and half of them past puberty.
The obese children had high levels of c-reactive protein, associated
with inflammation, which is itself linked to heart disease. They also
had abnormally high levels of the clotting factor fibrinogen compared
to lean children of the same age and sex, Mauras told a meeting of the
None of the children had other symptoms that might point to danger,
such as the high blood pressure, high blood glucose and high
cholesterol known collectively as the metabolic syndrome.
"Doctors often do not treat obesity in children now unless they have
other features of the metabolic syndrome," Mauras said in a statement.
"This practice should be reconsidered."What do you think is a good way to monitor children's health?