There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels…And it seems diet isn’t the only thing upping kids’ risk of heart disease. Check this out. A new study claims too much television raises children’s blood pressure. The man, Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports:
… When we study people who died young of coronary artery disease, we find that the highest risk of an earlier death occurs in those who were above average weight in childhood.2 Findings from the famous Bogalusa Heart Study show that a high saturated fat intake early in life is strongly predictive of later heart disease burden and the higher blood pressure in childhood and adolescence is powerfully predictive of cardiovascular death in adulthood.3
The finding "illustrates the need for considerable physician and family involvement to decrease TV time among obese children," study author Dr. Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, associate professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Diego, said in a prepared statement.So, what’s the modern medical answer? Improve diet, more exercise, and less TV? No! Instead, why not just give big pharma more money—oops! I mean prescribe heart drugs to young kids. Linda Johnson of the Associated Press reports, More Young Adults on Cholesterol Drugs:
His team's study included 546 participants, ages 4 to 17, who were evaluated for obesity at clinics in California and Ohio from 2003 to 2005.
Information was collected on the amount of time the children spent watching TV, along with their body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure.
The researchers found that both the severity of obesity and the amount of time spent watching TV each day were significant independent predictors of hypertension.
Experts point to higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol problems among young people. Also, doctors are getting more aggressive with preventive treatments.Pretty amazing if you ask me! I’m not a parent, but if my kid’s pediatrician prescribed him or her heart drugs I’d take that as a monumental parenting failure. What do you think?
"This is good news, that more people in this age range are taking these medicines," said Dr. Daniel W. Jones, president of the American Heart Association.
Still, he said many more people should be on the drugs that lower cholesterol or blood pressure and which have been shown to reduce risks for heart attack and stroke.
The new data, from prescription benefit manager Medco Health Solutions Inc., indicate use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among people aged 20 to 44, while still low, jumped 68 percent over a six-year period.
1. Vikari JS, Raitakari OT, Simell O. Nutritional influences on lipids and future atherosclerosis beginning prenatally and during childhood. Curr Opin Lipidol 2002;13(1):11-18.
2. Eriksson JG, Forsen T, Tuomilehto J, et al. Catch-up growth in childhood and death from coronary heart disease: longitudinal study. BMJ 1999;318(7181):427-431.
3. Berenson GS, Srinivasan SR, Nicklas TA. Atherosclerosis: a nutritional disease of childhood. Bogalusa Heart Study. AM J Cardiol 1998;82(10B):22T-29T. Berenson GS. Childhood risk factors predict adult risk associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. The Bolgulusa Heart Study. Am J Cardiol 2002;90(10C):3L-7L. Vos LE, Orien A, Uiterwaal C, et al. Adolescent blood pressure and blood pressure tracking into young adulthood are related to subclinical atherosclerosis: the atherosclerosis risk in young adults (ARYA) study. Am J Hypertens 2003 16(7):549-555.