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Cardiovascular Risk Factors Higher In "Heavy" Teens with Insulin Resistance

Armen Hareyan's picture

DALLAS - Obesity and insulin resistance are a menacing tag team that fuels cardiovascular risk factors in teens, according to a study reported in an obesity-themed issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Insulin resistance, considered a precursor to diabetes and a contributing risk factor for cardiovascular disease, is a condition in which the body cannot effectively use the hormone insulin.

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In the study researchers evaluated 169 male and 126 female adolescents, average age 15, who were part of an ongoing study to determine the influence of weight and insulin resistance on the development of cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes in adults.

Researchers found that 62 percent of teens who were both "heavy" and insulin resistant had two or more cardiovascular disease risk factors, compared with only 8 percent of the teens who were neither heavy nor insulin resistant.

"There is general consensus that controlling obesity is a major answer to cardiovascular health," said Alan R. Sinaiko, M.D., professor of pediatrics and nephrology at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.