, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 153-160

Obesity and the clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors in 14-year-old children

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Abstract

Although overweight and obesity in childhood are related to risk factors of cardiovascular (CVD), most studies have examined these relationships separately.

Internal cut-points were used to examine the relation of overweight (>85th and ≦90th percentile) and obesity (>90th percentile) to risk factor clustering in a sample of 2731 14-year-old children from Lower Silesia, Poland, examined cross-sectionally in 1996–97. All subjects went through anthropometric and blood pressure measurements, and fasting serum levels of lipid, lipoproteins and glucose were estimated. All risk factor (>90th percentile) prevalence increased greatly at higher levels of Body Mass Index (BMI) (kg/m2). Nearly every second obese child had elevated systolic blood pressure and every third child had elevated serum levels of triglycerides. Among overweight boys 24.7% were found to have at least one risk factor, whereas among obese boys every fourth had at least one risk factor. 25% overweight girls and nearly 18% obese girls showed at least one risk factor. Standardized odds ratios for associations between overweight and obesity, and risk factor clustering, indicated that obese boys were 4.8 times more likely to have an elevated level of at least two factors; the probability increasing to 16.1 in the case of three and more factors in comparison to their lean peers. Obese girls showed more then a 7 time higher probability of having three and more risk factors in relation to their lean peers.