Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes clogging and narrowing of the arteries, due to deposition of substances like fat on their walls. Over a period of time, the plaque build-up may block the blood flowing in. Such hardening of arteries usually happens in adults.
But, Canadian researcher Dr. Sanaz Piran and her colleagues at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, have presented a report on the early onset of atherosclerosis in children too. The report suggests that children, who faced risk factors like obesity, may be more susceptible.
The team reviewed data on 3,630 children of ages 5 to 18. They employed noninvasive methods that measured blood flow and the thickness of artery walls in children with and without heart disease risk factors. It was found that, children having heart disease risk factors showed early signs of atherosclerosis. Piran says obesity also puts children at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels. The reason for obesity in children is eating too much of fatty and processed foods.
Piran advocates that a family-oriented approach was required for cardiovascular prevention. She,also, imparts some advice to parents,
* Make kids do regular exercise
* Be wary of fatty meals
* Healthy food such as fruits and vegetables should form part of diet
* Do not smoke in the presence of children.
* If the family has a history of high cholesterol, children should have their cholesterol levels checked.