Based on the findings of a recent study researchers suggest that the risk factors for heart attacks may start before birth.
Out of the nearly 2,000 teens studied, about two-thirds had at least one risk factor for heart disease. As many as 10 percent had a cluster of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome. One in three obese children were identified as having metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome has been identified as a risk for heart disease and diabetes. For the purpose of this study, it was defined as having three or more of the following: high triglyceride levels, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), high fasting glucose, excessive waist circumference, and hypertension.
Researchers say they hope their findings will lead to risk-reducing interventions and better research in order to understand the relationship between metabolic syndrome and heart disease. In another study researchers looked at parental and early-life characteristics and their link to high blood pressure in 5-year-olds. The research shows women who smoked during pregnancy had an offspring with higher blood pressure than women who did not smoke. Researchers say they also found that the mother's age, weight and height affected the child's blood pressure. Thus researchers say they believe that quitting smoking during pregnancy could have a small positive effect.
Thus researchers conclude saying that a child's weight plays a significant role in his risk for high blood pressure at age 5. However researchers say that further research is needed to examine the effect of early-life exposures on adult disease outcomes.