Author(s): Ho TF
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The aim of this paper is to review the cardiovascular (CVS) risks associated with obesity in children and adolescents. Both short-term and long-term CVS consequences, the mechanisms of how these develop and the measures that can alter or reverse these CVS events are reviewed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Selected publications include original articles and review papers that report on studies of CVS risks and consequences related to childhood obesity. Some papers that contain data from adults studies are also included if the contents help to explain some underlying mechanisms or illustrate the continuation of related CVS changes into adulthood. RESULTS: Obese children and adolescents have an increased risk for CVS complications that include elevation of blood pressure, clustering of CVS risk factors (Metabolic Syndrome), changes to arterial wall thickness, elasticity and endothelium, as well as changes in left ventricular structure and function. Some of these cardiovascular problems may be initiated or potentiated by obstructive sleep apnoea that can accompany obesity in children. Many of such changes have been noted to reverse or improve with weight reduction. CONCLUSIONS: Early development of CVS risks in obese children and the possible continuation of CVS complications into adulthood have been observed. Obstructive sleep apnoea in obese children can further contribute to such CVS risks. These findings underscore the importance of prevention of childhood obesity as a priority over management of obesity in children.
This article was published in Ann Acad Med Singapore
and referenced in Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy