The study, which was published on April 29, 2013 in journal ‘Circulation’, revealed that the accumulation of these metabolic risk factors in overweight children were linked to mild artery wall stiffness. The findings also indicated that of single disorders, higher levels of insulin, triglyceride and blood pressure were linked to artery wall stiffness, and boys with excess abdominal fat and higher blood pressure levels were associated with a reduced arterial dilation after maximal exercise in a bicycle test.
Relations of overweight, impaired glucose and fat metabolism and blood pressure to artery wall stiffness and arterial dilation capacity in 173 healthy children aged between 6 and 8 years in Kuopio, eastern Finland were analyzed.
Actually, the study comprised part of the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) study, which was carried out by a research group in the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland. The PANIC study provides valuable information on children's physical activity, nutrition, fitness, body composition, metabolism, vascular function, learning, oral health, sleep, pain and other factors of the quality of life.
Results of the new study, which suggested that metabolic disorders developing already in childhood could cause mild arterial stiffness and impair vascular health, stressed the importance of lifestyle improvement in childhood for prevention of metabolic and vascular dysfunction leading to atherosclerotic events.
Arterial stiffness and reduced arterial dilation can predict atherosclerosis, also known as the hardening of the arteries, and in turn could weaken tissues of blood and oxygen, resulting in damage or tissue death. Atherosclerosis is a common cause of heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.