Childhood Fat Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

My mom called me “husky” when I was a kid. I wasn’t chubby, just stout. I still am. Good thing I wasn’t overweight, because a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting suggests obese children, as young as 7 years old, are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Experts screened more than 300 kids, ages 7 to 18, including 115 obese children and found obese kids had a 10-fold higher level of C-reactive protein, a known risk factor of heart disease; via ScienceDaily.

Last June, researchers observed metabolic syndrome in obese children. Metabolic syndrome is the group of conditions contributing to heart disease, including diabetes and obesity. In this study, scientists said an 8 year old child with metabolic syndrome could have heart disease by the time they reach 18 years old.

In related news, eating two servings of red meat per day was found to raise risk of metabolic disease by 26% and salt-sensitive people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have high blood pressure.

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Higher Suicide Risk in Overweight Teens

New findings in the Journal of Adolescent Health reveal teenagers who are overweight or perceive themselves as fat—even if they aren’t—are more likely to attempt suicide. The study involved 14,000 high school students and determined teens who think they’re overweight are more likely to attempt suicide than kids who do not, leading experts to recommend that youth health campaigns also include teenagers with distorted body images; ScienceDaily reports.

Teens have it rough! A previous study showed teenagers carrying around excess belly fat have a greater risk of developing heart problems and stressed out kids have increased blood levels of C-reactive protein, leading to inflammation and cardiovascular disease later in life.

In related news, a report showed people living in areas with extended periods of sunlight, such as Greenland, were at greater risk of suicide during seasons of continuous day.

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Stressed Out Kids Have Higher Heart Risks

As a kid, the hardest life gets is trying to decide whether to play video games, pick your nose or jump on the bed, but a new study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reveals teenagers who endure a lot of interpersonal stress, like family problems and harassment by peers, had increased blood levels of C-reactive protein, linked to chronic inflammation leading to cardiovascular disease as adults. Scientists asked 69 high school seniors to keep daily records of interpersonal strife for two weeks and discovered daily stress-inducers boosted C-reactive protein levels; Reuters investigates.

The association between childhood and adult health is becoming more and more obvious. Last week, research by the American Heart Association discovered overweight children as young as 3 can begin showing signs of heart disease, such as higher C-reactive protein levels. Another report claimed young adults told they have heart problems may have a 91% chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

In related news, young and middle-aged African Americans living in the United States were found to be 20 times more likely to suffer heart failure than white Americans.

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