Obese youth have physical signs of nascent heart problems that can be identified on echocardiography scans, according to a German study published online October 8 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In the study of 61 obese and 40 nonobese children and teens, researchers from the University of Leipzig Heart Center found that 2D echocardiography and blood chemistry analysis showed unique changes in the shape and function of the hearts of obese children compared with nonobese children. Furthermore, obese children had significantly higher blood pressure and higher levels of LDL cholesterol. They also had significantly lower HDL cholesterol.
The obese children as a group had reduced diastolic function, enlarged heart chambers, signs of increased cardiac workload, and other unfavorable conditions, the researchers found.