Thursday June 27, 2019

Researchers Find Overweight Kids Have Doubled Risk of High Blood Pressure

Galan noted that overweight in children is most accurately assessed using both BMI and WC

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Obesity
An overweight woman sits on a chair in Times Square in New York, May 8, 2012. VOA

Researchers have found that overweight kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure, raising the risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the study shows that obese four-year-old kids have a doubled risk of high blood pressure by age six.

“Parents need to be more physically active with young children and provide a healthy diet. Women should shed extra pounds before becoming pregnant, avoid gaining excess weight during pregnancy and quit smoking, as these are all established risk factors for childhood obesity,” said study lead author Inaki Galan from Carlos III Health Institute in Spain.

For the study, the research team examined the link between excess weight and high blood pressure in 1,796 kids who were followed up two years later. Blood pressure was measured at both points, as Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference (WC).

Compared to children maintaining a healthy weight between ages four and six, those with new or persistent excess weight according to BMI had 2.49 and 2.54 higher risk of high blood pressure, respectively.

body mass index
In this May 8, 2014 photo, an overweight man wears a shirt patterned after the American flag during a visit to the World Trade Center, in New York. VOA

In those with new or persistent abdominal obesity, the risks for high blood pressure were 2.81 and 3.42 greater, respectively.

“There is a chain of risk, whereby overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, which heightens the chance of cardiovascular disease if allowed to track into adulthood, but the results show that children who return to a normal weight also regain a healthy blood pressure,” said Galan.

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According to Galan, the best way to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess kilos is to exercise and eat a healthy diet. In addition to the central role of parents, the school curriculum needs to include three to four hours of physical activity every week.

Galan noted that overweight in children is most accurately assessed using both BMI and WC. (IANS)

Next Story

Passive Smoking Associated with High Blood Pressure

It included 131,739 never-smokers, one-third men, and an average age of 35 years

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Passive Smoking Dangers
Passive smoking in childhood has increased the risk of arthritis in adult smokers. Pixabay

Living with a smoker after age 20 is associated with a 15 per cent greater risk of developing high blood pressure, warn researchers, adding that avoiding smoky environments can reduce the risk of hypertension.

Passive smoking at home or work was linked with a 13 per cent increased risk of hypertension.

Exposure to passive smoking for 10 years or more was related to a 17 per cent increased risk of hypertension and men and women were equally affected, said the researchers at “EuroHeartCare 2019”, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology, in Milan, Italy on Friday.

“Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke regardless of whether the smoker is still in the room,” said study author Professor Byung Jin Kim from Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.

“Our study in non-smokers shows that the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) is higher with longer duration of passive smoking — but even the lowest amounts are dangerous,” Kim added.

Representational image. Pixabay

This is the first large study to assess the association between secondhand smoke and hypertension in never-smokers verified by urinary levels of cotinine, the principal metabolite of nicotine.

It included 131,739 never-smokers, one-third men, and an average age of 35 years.

Participants with hypertension were significantly more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work (27.9 per cent) than those with normal blood pressure (22.6 per cent).

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Hypertension was significantly more common in people exposed to passive smoke at home or work (7.2 per cent) compared to no exposure (5.5 per cent).

“The results suggest that it is necessary to keep completely away from secondhand smoke, not just reduce exposure, to protect against hypertension,” said Professor Kim. (IANS)