Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Puberty a gateway to heart disease for Canada's teens

28.10.2009
1 in 5 young teens has high blood pressure; elevated cholesterol levels increasing at alarming rate

Edmonton – A seven-year ongoing study examining over 20,000 Canadian grade 9 students shows most already have at least one major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, Dr. Brian McCrindle told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

"This study is further evidence of an accelerating decline in the heart health of Canada's teens," says Dr. McCrindle, a cardiologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. "Children shouldn't have these profiles."

The study investigated the heart health of 20,719 grade 9 students aged 14 and 15 years.

The study found that, between 2002 and 2008, the rates of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity in these teens were alarmingly high and, even more worrisome, increasing over time.

Risk factors of Canadian 14 and 15 year olds
Grade 9 students with 2002 2008 Increase from 2002 to 2008
One or more cardiovascular risk factors 17% 21% +4%
High blood pressure 19% 17% -2%
Elevated cholesterol levels 9% 16% +7%
Obesity 11% 13% +2%
"It is shocking that one in five 14 and 15 year olds has high blood pressure," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson. "What does this say for the future health of these young teens? They are at risk of developing long-term health effects such as premature heart disease and type 2 diabetes."

High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease. "We're ringing the alarm bell. Every child has the right to grow up healthy," says Dr. Abramson.

The teens' elevated cholesterol rates had the greatest increase, accelerating from nine to 16 per cent in six years. "An increase of this magnitude in this age group is astonishing," says Dr. Abramson. "These risk factor levels will continue to increase and track into adulthood unless we do something now. These children are in grave danger."

Dr. McCrindle says the situation could be even worse than it looks. There is a synergistic relationship between risk factors.

"One of the things we already know is that it is the number of risk factors you have that really accelerates the whole process," he says. "And when you have a healthy looking kid in front of you, it's easy to miss the invisible time bomb waiting do go off."

Lifestyle factors of Canadian 14 and 15 year olds
Grade 9 students' levels of 2002 2008 Change from 2002-2008
Physical activity
(Physically active for 90 minutes at least five days a week) 28% 22% -6%
Sedentary behaviour
(20 or more hours per week of TV or video games) 22% 24% +2%
"Unfortunately, our kids' gaming superheroes are getting better workouts than they are," says Dr. Abramson.

"With changing technologies, we to need to exercise our bodies more than our brains," she says. "Over 50 per cent of Canadian children between the ages of five and 17 aren't active enough to support optimal health and development – and over a quarter of our children and youth are overweight or obese."

They don't do any better on the nutrition front: only half get the daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables.

Healthy behaviours including regular physical activity that begin at a young age and continue throughout life are important to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Dr. Abramson recommends that children and youth build up to at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily physical activity most days of the week and consume a healthy, balanced diet that includes foods from the four food groups in Canada's Food Guide.

"You don't have to try fit something else into their busy days," she says. "You simply need to encourage children to trade an hour of inactivity for an hour of activity."

Dr. McCrindle notes that family history, low levels of physical activity, high levels of sedentary behaviour, poor nutrition, and lower socio-economic status all play a role.

He says that one of the great deficiencies in Canada is that, although there is a push to recognize guidelines for management of risk factors in adults, there is very little for kids.

"We need comprehensive and integrated Canadian guidelines for keeping our children healthy and we need them soon because this type of study is showing the worst is yet to come," says Dr. McCrindle. "This is the first generation of children that may have a shorter lifespan than their parents."

The data were collected by Heart Niagara Inc., a nonprofit corporation which partnered with school boards and public health officials in a grade 9 physical education curriculum enrichment program designed to prevent chronic disease.

They assessed students' blood pressure, height and weight, and blood cholesterol, capturing pretty well all of the grade 9 students in the system.

"It took a collaborative effort to collect this data. Working together is key to turning around the heart health of our children," says Dr. Abramson. "It takes a village to raise a child and it will take all levels of society to give our children a healthier future. Individuals, families, schools, communities, businesses, industry, and government collectively can play a role in improving the health of our youth – now and for the future."

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

For more information and/or interviews, contact the CCC 2009 MEDIA OFFICE AT 780-969-0453 (Oct 24-28)

Jane-Diane Fraser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsf.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>