Study finds more teens with risk factors for heart disease

More than one in five teenagers has at least one risk factor for heartdisease such as obesity and high cholesterol, a jump from just sixyears earlier, suggests new research.

More than one in five teenagers has at least one risk factor for heart disease such as obesity and high cholesterol, a jump from just six years earlier, suggests new research.

Researchers partnered with a group that has been following the heart health of thousands of teenagers in the Niagara region of Ontario for more than two decades.

They found that between the years 2002 and 2008, the number of Grade 9 students with one or more cardiovascular risk factors rose to 21 per cent from 17 per cent. The number of obese teens went from 11 per cent to 13 per cent, while those with elevated cholesterol almost doubled from nine per cent to 16 per cent.

The figures mirror what’s going on in Canadian society, said Dr. Brian McCrindle, a pediatric cardiologist at The Hospital for Sick Children.

“What needs to be brought to bear within the public realm is that the origins of heart disease in adults actually begins in youth, and it begins in youth with the accumulation of these risk factors,” he said.

 
 
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