Extra Weight Affects the Heart in Young Adults

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Research published in Circulation suggests young adults who are overweight can experience high blood pressure (hypertension) and changes to heart structure and function that can increase their risk for heart disease later in life.

For this study, researchers at the University of Bristol Medical School in the United Kingdom analyzed data from three types of genetic analyses to determine the effects of body mass index (BMI) on various cardiovascular measurements. The study involved several thousand healthy young people, 17 and 21 years old, from the ongoing Children of the ‘90s study (also called the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children). The researchers found that higher BMI causes higher blood pressure (systolic and diastolic, top and bottom numbers) and enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle (its main pumping chamber).

According to the English researchers, these changes can lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and other signs of heart disease decades later.

Sourced from: American Heart Association