Obese children have 'same artery plaque build up as middle-aged men'

Obese children have the same level of artery plaque build up as that seen in middle-aged men, according to US research.

Using ultrasound to measure the thickness of the inner walls of the carotid arteries, the researchers found that obese children were already at high risk of future heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr Geetha Raghuveer, from the University of Missouri, said: ‘Vascular age was advanced the furthest in children with obesity and high triglyceride levels, so the combination of obesity and high triglycerides should be a red flag to the doctor that a child is at high risk of heart disease.’

Further studies will be needed to determine whether the artery build-up will decrease if children lose weight, exercise or are treated for abnormal lipids, the researchers added.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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