Complications of Childhood Obesity Appear Early

Summary and Comment |
September 30, 2015

Complications of Childhood Obesity Appear Early

  1. F. Bruder Stapleton, MD

Cardiometabolic risk factors are associated with severity of childhood obesity, especially in boys.

  1. F. Bruder Stapleton, MD

Because severe childhood obesity is a growing public health problem, understanding obesity-associated cardiovascular risk factors has importance for surveillance and interventions. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2012, researchers assessed the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors according to obesity class in a cross-sectional sample of 8579 children and young adults (age range, 3–19 years) with body-mass index (BMI) >85% of normal. Obesity classes were defined as overweight (BMI 85th to <95th percentile), class I obesity (95th percentile to <120% of the 95th percentile), class II obesity (120% to <140% of the 95th percentile, or BMI ≥35), and class III obesity (≥140% of the 95th percentile, or BMI ≥40).

The prevalence of abnormal levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and glycated hemoglobin increased as the severity of obesity increased. In analyses adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and sex, several abnormal risk factors were more prevalent in participants with class III obesity than in those with class I obesity (the reference) among males, but not females. In the same analyses, several abnormal risk factors were more prevalent in participants with class I obesity than in those who were overweight among both males and females.

Comment

Risk for cardiovascular disease is present in obese children and young adults, especially severely obese males. The sample of young children in the study was small, so the age at which these changes begin cannot be determined. Because the risk for developing cardiovascular disease is potentially reversible, primary care providers should look to identify these risk factors and choose appropriate interventions in children and young adults.

Editor Disclosures at Time of Publication

  • Disclosures for F. Bruder Stapleton, MD at time of publication Editorial boards UpToDate

Citation(s):

Reader Comments (1)

Benito Minzer Physician, Cardiology, Hospital

I mean that obesity is a growing problem in almost all the world and we must be involved in a cruzade to avoid CV diseases.

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