From the Journals

AHA: Consider obesity as CVD risk factor in children



The American Heart Association has included obesity and severe obesity in its updated scientific statement outlining risk factors and considerations for cardiovascular risk reduction in high-risk pediatric patients.

The scientific statement is an update to a 2006 American Heart Association (AHA) statement, adding details about obesity as an at-risk condition and severe obesity as a moderate-risk condition. Other additions include classifying type 2 diabetes as a high-risk condition and expanding on new risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among patients who received treatment for childhood cancer.

The AHA said the statement is aimed at pediatric cardiologists, primary care physicians, and subspecialists who care for at-risk pediatric patients, as well as providers who will care for these patients as they transition to adult life.


In the AHA scientific statement, Sarah de Ferranti, MD, MPH, of Boston Children’s Hospital, chair of the writing group, and her colleagues, highlighted a 2016 study that identified a twofold to threefold higher risk of CVD-related mortality among patients who were overweight or obese, compared with patients of normal weight (Diabetes Care. 2016 Nov;39[11]:1996-2003).

Patients with obesity and severe obesity are at increased risk of aortic or coronary fatty streaks, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance, as well as inflammatory and oxidative stress, the AHA writing group noted.


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