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Heart Disease: The Number One Killer in America Starts in Childhood

Thursday, June 26, 2008 by: Deanna Dean
Tags: children's health, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women today. It's shocking to learn that this deadly disease threatens our children as well and can even begin in the womb if the mother's diet is insufficient during her pregnancy.

Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes clogging, narrowing, and stiffening of the arteries, due to deposition of fat and plaque on the arterial walls which eventually blocks the flow of blood to the heart and major organs. This leads to a plethora of problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

Most of us assume these are adult problems and that high cholesterol and high blood pressure usually happen only to adults, but research is now revealing some sad statistics; one third of American children age two through the teenage years have high cholesterol and far too many babies have high blood pressure.

In the summer of 2002, The American Heart Association (AHA) recommended that health care professionals start measuring children's blood pressure at age three and cholesterol at age five. They also recommend that children with high cholesterol levels should be given cholesterol lowering statin drugs as an early treatment. This is alarming for many reasons; one being the harmful side effects of these drugs.

When measuring cholesterol levels in children The National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP) Expert Panel on Blood Cholesterol in Children and Adolescents endorses the following guidelines which are also supported by the AHA and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Adult levels are somewhat higher:

Cholesterol Acceptable, mg/dl Borderline, mg/dl High, mg/dl

* Total
Cholesterol Less than 170 170-199 200 or more

* LDL
Cholesterol Less than 110 110-129 130 or more

Obesity is epidemic in our society and obese children in particular face a heightened risk of a variety of health problems including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 'Prehypertension and obesity are two of the biggest threats to heart health that trace back to childhood,' says Dr. Gerald Berenson, professor of cardiology at the Tulane Center for Cardiovascular Health in New Orleans and director for the Bogalusa (Louisiana) Heart Study. He further states that obesity in childhood is the only consistent factor predicting adult vascular stiffness or hardening of the arteries.

Obesity has become a major health concern for American children. In the last two decades, the prevalence of overweight adolescents has nearly tripled and current statistics show 16 percent of children are overweight or obese.

If we care about our children and their future, then let's first teach them how to eat right, exercise and follow good health practices.

In good health,

Deanna Dean

References:

Medindia.com, Early Onset of Atherosclerosis Reported in Obese Children

Heart Disease Starts Early in Life, May 15, Ed Edelson

Goliath Business Knowledge

(http://www.healthscience.org/content/view/28...) J. Novick 11/13/06

About the author

Deanna Dean is the Wellness Director for Your Health Coach, a company dedicated to health and wellness education.
website: yourhealthcoachdee.com
Dee is a Wellness & Weight Loss Coach, a Certified Natural Health Professional, is pursuing an ND degree-Naturopathic Doctor, is a certified Raw Chef, certified in Dietary Guidelines from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, former Personal Trainer, Yoga and Fitness Studio Owner, TV and Radio Guest, Health Columnist.
Deanna develops customized programs to enhance the health of her clients, educates, and coaches dieters for safe weight loss.

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