Obese children burdened by more than weight

November 24, 2014
Science Daily/University of California, San Diego Health Sciences
High blood pressure and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are two emerging health problems related to the epidemic of childhood obesity. In a recent study, researchers sought to determine the prevalence of high blood pressure in children with NAFLD, which places them at risk for premature cardiovascular disease.

"As a result of our study, we recommend that blood pressure evaluation, control and monitoring should be included as an integral component of the clinical management of children with NAFLD, especially because this patient population is at greater risk for heart attacks and strokes," said Jeffrey Schwimmer, MD, in the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study. "Hypertension is a main cause of preventable death and disability in the United States in adults, but much of the origin occurs in childhood."

"Along with being at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, we found that children with NAFLD who had high blood pressure were significantly more likely to have more fat in their liver than children without high blood pressure. This could lead to a more serious form of liver disease," said Schwimmer.

"There are some reasons to believe that blood pressure control could be beneficial for NAFLD. Thus, we may be able to decrease the risk of premature cardiovascular disease in these children, and also help their liver," said Schwimmer. "Parents and doctors need to be aware of the health risks of children who have NAFLD. The sooner high blood pressure is identified and treated in this patient population, the healthier they will be as they transition into adulthood."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141124143330.htm

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