Giovanni de Simone and other researchers from the New York Presbyterian Hospital studied 4,549 people in American-Indian (native American) communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota, reported science portal EurekAlert.
This analysis included data from examinations of 460 participants aged 14-20 years (245 girls and 215 boys). The researchers used ultrasound and other methods to measure the size, shape and pumping function of the teenagers' hearts.
They found that when a person is obese, the size and thickness of the heart increases - which cannot be understood by simply measuring the blood pressure.
'This excess of cardiac mass, which we call 'inappropriate' in connection to cardiac workload, is also associated with a general impairment of the heart's function of pushing blood into the arterial tree and also to distend its cavity to receive the blood returning from the periphery,' explained Simone.
These results underscore the need to fight excess weight in children, since the damaging effects are evident even before adulthood, he said in the study, which was published in the June 6, 2006, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Similar analysis previously performed among other ethnic groups, such as Caucasians and African Americans, have also found similar risk factors,' the researchers noted.
Source: IANS News