Obese children have older "vascular age"

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 1, 2008

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The plaque in the neck arteries of obese children and teens examined in a recent study looked more like that found in 45-year-olds, according to research presented at the American Heart Assn.'s Scientific Sessions 2008.

Researchers used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the inner walls of the carotid arteries of 34 boys and 36 girls who had an average age of 13. The children also had abnormal levels of one or more types of cholesterol -- elevated LDL levels, low HDL levels or high triglycerides. More than half had a body mass index above the 95th percentile.

The children's "vascular age," or the age at which the level of thickening would be normal, was about 30 years older than their actual age, the researchers said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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