Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Waist circumference, not BMI, is best predictor of future cardiovascular risk in children

15.10.2010
A new long-term study published by researchers at the University of Georgia, the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Australia and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia suggests that waist circumference, rather than the commonly used body mass index measure, is the best clinical measure to predict a child's risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes later in life.

The researchers, whose results appear in the early online edition of the International Journal of Obesity, found that children with high waist circumference values (in the top 25 percent for their age and sex) were five to six times more likely than children with low waist circumferences (in the bottom 25 percent) to develop metabolic syndrome by early adulthood. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of key cardiovascular risk factors and is associated with an increased risk of subsequent coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

"We wanted to identify which clinical measure of childhood body composition best predicts long-term cardio-metabolic health risks," said study lead author Michael Schmidt, an assistant professor in the UGA department of kinesiology, part of the College of Education. "We were able to compare a wide range of body composition measures and found that waist circumference seems to be the best measure to predict subsequent risk."

Schmidt said that the findings should help clinicians measuring body composition identify children most at risk for future health problems in a simple and cost effective manner.

The study used data collected as part of a 20-year follow up of 2,188 Australians who participated in a national childhood health and fitness survey in 1985, when aged 7 to 15 years. As adults, they then attended one of 34 study clinics held across Australia between 2004 and 2006, where they underwent a range of health and fitness assessments. Most prior studies of the long-term consequences of childhood obesity have used the body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height, as the primary measure of childhood obesity, Schmidt explained. While useful, BMI doesn't distinguish between fat and non-fat weight or indicate where the fat is located. In contrast, waist circumference measurements capture the amount of fat located centrally in the body, a location that prior studies have shown to be particularly detrimental to cardio-metabolic health. "This likely explains the stronger associations we observed between waist circumference and adult metabolic syndrome," added Schmidt.

The study is one of the first of its kind to compare directly the usefulness of different body composition measures in predicting long-term cardiovascular risk, said Schmidt. In addition, prior studies that examined the extent to which childhood obesity predicts cardiovascular health in later life were conducted among historical cohorts of children lacking the extreme body composition values seen in children now. Schmidt said that while obesity levels in 1985 Australian children were also not as extreme as today's children, the study participants were exposed to all of the factors leading to the increased rates of obesity in today's young adults, such as easy access to fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle.

While Schmidt recognizes that introducing waist circumference measurement in schools is controversial because of potential stigmatization, he said he feels it provides an opportunity for the early identification of children at higher risk for future health problems due to excess body fat.

"I think parents would want to know if their child was five to six times more likely to have early cardio-metabolic health problems," said Schmidt. "The study shows that the increased rates of obesity in contemporary children are going to have long-term consequences. We can expect that the children of today will have higher rates of diabetes and early cardiovascular disease and that these problems will begin earlier in life."

Michael Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>