Overweight teens show heart risks at just 15
Published 26/11/2010 | 05:00
Children who are overweight are already showing signs of future heart disease when they hit 15 or 16, according to the first study of its kind, writes Jane Kirby.
Being overweight or obese aged nine to 12 leads to a higher chance of displaying risk factors -- including high blood pressure and high cholesterol -- at age 15 or 16.
The expert study, which involved more than 5,000 children, investigated blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels, and cholesterol.
At the start of the study, when the youngsters were aged nine to 12, 19pc of the sample was overweight and another 5pc was obese.
Experts found that those children who were still overweight when they reached 15 or 16 were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high insulin levels.
At this age, 29pc of the population had high systolic blood pressure (pressure exerted when the heart beats) and 3pc had high diastolic blood pressure (pressure between heart beats).
But those youngsters who lost weight before they reached 15 or 16 had less risk, particularly if they were girls, the experts said.