5 factors to monitor from childhood to reduce fatal cardiovascular risks

THE ESSENTIAL

  • In France, up to 50,000 people suffer cardiac arrest every year, of which around 5% survive.
  • Cardio-neurovascular diseases and their complications are the leading cause of death in women and the elderly.

In France, cardiovascular diseases and their complications are the second leading cause of death after cancer, with more than 140,000 deaths a year, according to the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. They are also a major cause of disease and early death.

Therefore, to avoid this type of problem, there are several recommendations: regular physical activity, a stable and normal body mass index (BMI), a balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption… All these advices are generally followed by adults , but according to a study published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Prevention should start in childhood.

5 risk factors for children

Scientists have identified five risk factors in children that can lead to fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular problems in adulthood: body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, high triglyceride (lipid) levels and smoking in young people. The first four would be the most important because they can lead to heart problems after the age of 40.

To achieve these results, the researchers followed more than 38,000 people from childhood (between the ages of 3 and 19) through old age, when cardiovascular disease becomes common. Some participants have been persecuted for 50 years. The researchers observed that the cardiovascular problems these adults had could be predicted in more than half of the children.

Up to 9 times the risk

On the other hand, some of the children had nine times the risk of cardiovascular problems compared to children with below-average risk factors. “It has been known for some time that children can start showing signs of fatty deposits in the arteries as early as 5 years of age.”explain the authors.

“While interventions in adulthood such as improved diet, smoking cessation, physical activity, and taking appropriate medications are helpful in reducing risk factors, there is arguably much more to do in childhood and adolescence to reduce the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease to reduce.”concludes Terence Dwyer, one of the authors.

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