HealthDay News — Extremely obese children — such as those at least 100 pounds overweight — are in deeper trouble in terms of cardiovascular disease risks than previously estimated, according to research published in JAMA Pediatrics.
“Severe obesity is increasingly common in the adolescent population but, as of yet, very little information exists regarding cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks in this group,” noted Marc Michalsky, MD, an associate professor of clinical surgery and pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, and colleagues.
To assess the baseline prevalence and predictors of CVD risk among severely obese adolescents undergoing weight-loss surgery, the researchers conducted a prospective cohort study from February 2007 to December 2011. Adolescents, aged 19 years or younger, were offered enrollment in a long-term outcome study; the final analysis cohort consisted of 242 patients.
The typical child enrolled in the study had a body mass index of 50 kg/m2. About half of the children had elevated blood pressure or dyslipidemia, and 14% had diabetes. Of the participants, 95% had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
“These data suggest that even among severely obese adolescents, recognition and treatment of CVD risk factors is important to help limit further progression of disease,” concluded the investigators.