Metabolic Syndrome Has Adverse Effects on Teens' Hearts

September 5, 2008

Among adolescents aged 14 to 20 years, those with the metabolic syndrome have a higher risk of developing heart problems than those without the metabolic syndrome, according to the results of a study of American Indian teens published in the Sept. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

FRIDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Among adolescents aged 14 to 20 years, those with the metabolic syndrome have a higher risk of developing heart problems than those without the metabolic syndrome, according to the results of a study of American Indian teens published in the Sept. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Marcello Chinali, M.D., from the Federico II University Hospital School of Medicine in Naples, Italy, and colleagues examined the impact of the metabolic syndrome on cardiac markers in 446 non-diabetic American Indian adolescents, of whom 111 had the syndrome; the group had a similar age and gender distribution as the group without the syndrome.

After adjusting for confounding factors, the researchers found that adolescents with the metabolic syndrome had significantly higher prevalences of left ventricular hypertrophy (43.2 versus 11.7 percent) and left atrial dilation (63.1 versus 21.9 percent). Clustered metabolic syndrome was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of both conditions (odds ratio 2.6 and 2.3, respectively), independently of demographic and clinical factors and single metabolic components of the metabolic syndrome.

"The findings…support the concept that the metabolic syndrome is already having an adverse effect even in adolescence," Stephen R. Daniels, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Colorado at Denver, writes in an accompanying editorial.

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