Study looks at impact of obesity on heart of young obese children

New Delhi:

According to research published in the ‘European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging’, obesity could have a severe impact on the heart’s anatomy for young obese children.

The study looked at the left ventricle, one of the four chambers of the heart. The researchers found that the left heart acquires a circular cross-section and becomes tilted away from the normal vertical symmetry – this second trait has been previously shown to be present in aortic stenosis patients. Strikingly, the remodelling became significant at a BMI of roughly 19 in children aged 10, corresponding to the threshold of overweight range in adults BMI 25. In their study, extensive data collection had been conducted over the years, from the early prenatal phase through childhood, to examine the development of the cardiovascular system and early cardiovascular risk factors.

Data collection included the CMR imaging scans that study the hearts of 2631 children aged 10, with a balanced sex distribution (51.3 per cent girls) from Generation R Study, a population-based prospective cohort study from foetal life onwards in the Netherlands. With their findings, the researchers said that understanding and quantifying the impact of obesity on development is becoming much clearer. Obesity remains one of the most important issues in global health.

Almost 60 per cent of EU adults and roughly one-third of 11-year-olds are overweight or obese and obesity-related conditions are the leading causes of preventable death, according to the World Health Organisation.

Heart Researcher Professor Pablo Lamata said, “In the future, this pattern of remodelling could inform risk prediction models and raise an earlier awareness of the importance of adopting a healthier lifestyle from childhood.”

The idea is to allow clinicians to help patients reduce future cardiovascular risks in those that are more susceptible to them because the heart responds in a given way to the insult of obesity.

Lead researcher Maciej Marciniak said, “Obesity in children is, of course, a major concern, as it may impact the healthy development. With more clinical information on this impact, clinicians will be able to better advice patients to follow healthier lifestyles at an earlier age. Looking further down the line, such analyses may help to inform about other remodelling patterns, connected with lifestyle choices, environmental factors, and other parameters.”

Future research will answer if this is an adaptive or a maladaptive response and whether this remodelling signature could inform risk prediction models. (ANI)


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