How does childhood obesity affect future heart disease risk?

As a leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease has the potential to directly or indirectly affect your family. Assessing the risk of heart disease in your family can help influence healthy lifestyle changes. It’s well-established that older adults have a higher likelihood of developing heart disease. But increasingly, heart care specialists are finding evidence to suggest that childhood obesity increases the risk of heart disease later in life. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, the health of the next generation is of the highest importance to us. Our Heart Center provides cutting-edge treatments, but we emphasize the value of preventive medicine.

The impact of childhood habits
It’s always possible for a person to change his or her lifestyle habits. However, the longer a person sticks to a habit, the harder it is to break.

Children with poor dietary habits are more likely to become obese, and they may continue this harmful pattern of eating into adulthood. Coupled with physical inactivity and obesity, the lack of proper nutrition throughout life can raise the risk of heart trouble .

The risks of high blood pressure
Research indicates that, as childhood obesity rates rise, so too do rates of high blood pressure in younger people. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as the “silent killer.”

It doesn’t cause symptoms, and problems from hypertension can take years to develop, but the complications can prove fatal later in life. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases the likelihood of life-threatening problems like heart attack, heart failure and aneurysms.

The development of insulin resistance
Children who are obese may be more likely to develop insulin resistance over time. Eventually, this may develop into type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is known to be a significant risk factor for heart disease.

As a leader in family-centered healthcare in Las Vegas, Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center attracts top doctors and specialists who genuinely care about our patients. Heart care and surgical weight loss are just two of the specialized services you’ll find here. Call a registered nurse at (702) 233-5300 to request a referral to a physician.

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