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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>