Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease risk factors begin in childhood

The prevalence of obesity, a significant risk factor for CVD, is increasing in the U.S., particularly in children.  Identifying and addressing CVD risk factors as a youth can help alleviate likelihood of developing CVD as an adult.  Individually a variety of factors such as high BMI, cholesterol and tobacco use all put youth at greater risk of CVD, but when clustered together the risk is even greater.

Childhood obesity is strongly linked to obesity in adulthood. According to one study 84% of those with a high BMI as children were obese as adults and all children with a very high BMI were obese as adults.  High cholesterol and blood pressure as a youth have consistently been found to be associated with high cholesterol and blood pressure as an adult.

Youth who start tobacco use young are likely to persist use into adulthood and have an approximately 50% chance of becoming a lifetime smoker. Lack of physical activity and poor nutritional diets are also risk factors for CVD which can follow from childhood to adulthood.

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