Cardiac Disease Risk Factors Prevalent Among U.S. Teens

From 1999 to 2008, increase in diabetes, no change in rates of HTN, high LDL cholesterol

MONDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- From 1999 to 2008 the prevalence of several cardiovascular disease risk factors remained stable among U.S. adolescents, but the burden of risk factors is still considerable, according to a study published online May 21 in Pediatrics.

To investigate recent trends in the prevalence of selected CVD risk factors among U.S. adolescents, Ashleigh L. May, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,383 12- to 19-year-old participants from the 1999 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that from 1999 to 2008 the overall prevalence of prehypertension/hypertension was 14 percent, borderline-high/high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was 22 percent, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<35 mg/dL) was 6 percent, and prediabetes/diabetes was 15 percent. Over the study period there were no significant changes in the prevalence of prehypertension/hypertension (17 percent in 1999 to 2000 and 13 percent in 2007 to 2008) and borderline-high/high LDL cholesterol (23 and 19 percent, respectively), but the prevalence of prediabetes/diabetes increased from 9 to 21 percent. There was a dose-response increase in the prevalence of each of these CVD risk factors by weight categories, with 37 percent of overweight teens, 49 percent of obese teens, and 61 percent of normal-weight teens having at least one of these CVD risk factors during the study period.

"The results of this national study indicate that U.S. adolescents carry a substantial burden of CVD risk factors, especially those youth who are overweight or obese," the authors write.

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