Impaired heart function among obese children may help predict later disease

June 17, 2013, The Endocrine Society

Impaired heart function among obese children and adolescents may be an indicator of future heart disease, a new clinical trial finds. The results were presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

in developed countries worldwide are climbing among all age groups, including children. In the United States today, one-third of children are overweight or obese, which raises concerns about the effects of early weight gain on future health.

Previous research showed that obesity in childhood can cause a type of heart abnormality characterized by blood improperly filling the . One of the earliest signs of obesity-related heart disease, this heart abnormality can eventually weaken the heart until it no longer can pump enough blood for the body's needs, which is a potentially fatal disease known as heart failure.

A primary risk factor for heart failure and other forms of heart disease is diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common type, occurs when the pancreas either secretes insufficient insulin to control blood-sugar levels, or when cells are resistant to the hormone. Insulin resistance is one of the early sign of future diabetes.

To determine whether are at greater risk for heart disease than their normal-weight counterparts, investigators measured blood concentrations of insulin and another hormone that also helps regulate the level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. This other hormone, adiponectin, is secreted by , and at low levels also may indicate diabetes.

They found that obesity, insulin resistance and lower concentrations of adiponectin all were associated with impaired heart functioning. The children who were most likely to exhibit impaired heart functioning had all three of these conditions

"These findings suggest that these youth are at increased risk of long-term heart disease, such as , if they are unable to improve their weight and fitness," said study senior author Gary M. Leong, PhD, associate professor and senior academic fellow in child obesity research and chronic disease prevention at the University of Queensland, Mater Children's Hospital in South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. "It suggests that adolescents with obesity and should be monitored for impaired left and, in addition to measures to attain a healthier weight, interventions should aim to normalize the metabolic profiles of these youth."

Study participants included 35 overweight and 34 normal-weight youth. Their average age was 15 years. Sixty percent of the overweight and 38 percent of the normal-weight group was female.

Investigators obtained participants' height-to-weight ratios, or body-mass indexes, and analyzed blood samples for sugar, or glucose, insulin, and concentrations. They assessed how well the heart pumped blood with a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to portray the heart's functioning in real time.

The Golden Casket Mater Children's Hospital funded the study, which was conducted by Rachana Dahiya as part of her PhD program.

Explore further: Insulin resistance linked to weaker bones

Related Stories

Insulin resistance linked to weaker bones

June 17, 2013
Reduced effectiveness of the hormone insulin, or insulin resistance, is associated with weakened bones, a clinical study shows. The results were presented Sunday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Skipping breakfast may make obese women insulin resistant

June 17, 2013
Overweight women who skip breakfast experience acute, or rapid-onset, insulin resistance, a condition that, when chronic, is a risk factor for diabetes, a new study finds. The results, which were presented Sunday at The Endocrine ...

Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought

September 25, 2012
Being obese as a child or adolescent may have a larger effect on future health than previously thought, suggests a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Obesity in early 20s curbs chances of reaching middle age

April 29, 2013
Young men who are obese in their early 20s are significantly more likely to develop serious ill health by the time they reach middle age, or not even make it that far, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ ...

Vitamin D deficiency may raise allergy and asthma risk in obese children, teens

June 17, 2013
One reason why obese children and teenagers are more likely to have hard-to-control asthma and allergies may be vitamin D deficiency, a new study finds. Results of the study will be presented Tuesday at The Endocrine Society's ...

Discovery of new hormone opens doors to new type 2 diabetes treatments

May 7, 2013
Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers have discovered that a particular type of protein (hormone) found in fat cells helps regulate how glucose (blood sugar) is controlled and metabolized (used for energy) in ...

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

NeuroNext biomarker study explores natural history of infantile-onset SMA

January 9, 2018
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to define the natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been "critical" to accelerate the development of effective therapies and hasten ...

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Early puberty in girls may take mental health toll

December 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A girl who gets her first menstrual period early in life—possibly as young as 7—has a greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behaviors that last at least into her 20s, a new study suggests.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase

December 21, 2017
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University ...

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.