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Home Industry News Obese children ‘can show signs of heart disease at the age of eight’

Obese children ‘can show signs of heart disease at the age of eight’

13th November 2015

Obese children as young as eight may already experience signs of heart disease, according to a new study.

The Geisinger Health System, presented at the American Heart Association's scientific sessions, compared health data on 20 obese kids with 20 children of normal weight.

It was found that obesity was linked to 27 percent more muscle mass in the left ventricle of the patients' hearts and 12 percent thicker heart muscles – both signs of heart disease. Moreover, 40 percent of the obese children were considered high-risk because of problems with the thickened heart muscles associated with impaired pumping ability.

Although none of the children showed physical symptoms, the researchers cautioned that heart problems during childhood may lead to more complicated health conditions in adulthood.

Dr Linyuan Jing, lead study author and a researcher at Geisinger Health System, said: "Ultimately, we hope that the effects we see in the hearts of these children are reversible; however, it is possible that there could be permanent damage."

The study concluded that this demonstrates why it is vital for parents to help their children maintain a healthy weight.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801805718-ADNFCR

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