Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Today's teens will die younger of heart disease

17.11.2011
High blood sugar, obesity, poor diet, smoking, little exercise make adolescents unhealthiest in US history

A new study that takes a complete snapshot of adolescent cardiovascular health in the United States reveals a dismal picture of teens who are likely to die of heart disease at a younger age than adults do today, reports Northwestern Medicine research.

"We are all born with ideal cardiovascular health, but right now we are looking at the loss of that health in youth," said Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., chair and associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Their future is bleak."

Lloyd-Jones is the senior investigator of the study presented Nov. 16 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando.

The effect of this worsening teen health is already being seen in young adults. For the first time, there is an increase in cardiovascular mortality rates in younger adults ages 35 to 44, particularly in women, Lloyd-Jones said.

The alarming health profiles of 5,547 children and adolescents, ages 12 to 19, reveal many have high blood sugar levels, are obese or overweight, have a lousy diet, don't get enough physical activity and even smoke, the new study reports. These youth are a representative sample of 33.1 million U.S. children and adolescents from the 2003 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

"Cardiovascular disease is a lifelong process," Lloyd-Jones said. "The plaques that kill us in our 40s and 50s start to form in adolescence and young adulthood. These risk factors really matter."

"After four decades of declining deaths from heart disease, we are starting to lose the battle again," Lloyd-Jones added.

The American Heart Association (AHA) defines ideal cardiovascular health as having optimum levels of seven well-established cardiovascular risk factors, noted lead study author Christina Shay, who did the research while she was a postdoctoral fellow in preventive medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School. Shay now is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

"What was most alarming about the findings of this study is that zero children or adolescents surveyed met the criteria for ideal cardiovascular health," Shay said. "These data indicate ideal cardiovascular health is being lost as early as, if not earlier than the teenage years."

The study used measurements from the AHA's 2020 Strategic Impact Goals for monitoring cardiovascular health in adolescents and children. Among the findings:

TERRIBLE DIETS

All the 12-to-19-year-olds had terrible diets, which, surprisingly, were even worse than those of adults, Lloyd-Jones said. None of their diets met all five criteria for being healthy. Their diets were high in sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages and didn't include enough fruits, vegetables, fiber or lean protein.

"They are eating too much pizza and not enough whole foods prepared inside the home, which is why their sodium is so high and fruit and vegetable content is so low," Lloyd-Jones said.

HIGH BLOOD SUGAR

More than 30 percent of boys and more than 40 percent of girls have elevated blood sugar, putting them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE

Thirty-five percent of boys and girls are overweight or obese. "These are startling rates of overweight and obesity, and we know it worsens with age," Lloyd-Jones said. "They are off to a bad start."

LOW PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Approximately 38 percent of girls had an ideal physical activity level compared to 52 percent of boys.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL

Girls' cholesterol levels were worse than boys'. Only 65 percent of girls met the ideal level compared to 73 percent of boys.

SMOKING

Almost 25 percent of teens had smoked within the past month of being surveyed.

BLOOD PRESSURE

Most boys and girls (92.9 percent and 93.4 percent, respectively) had an ideal level of blood pressure.

The problem won't be easy to fix. "We are much more sedentary and get less physical activity in our daily lives," Lloyd-Jones said. "We eat more processed food, and we get less sleep. It's a cultural phenomenon, and the many pressures on our health are moving in a bad direction. This is a big societal problem we must address."

The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Marla Paul | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>