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Signs of cardiac disease start early in obese children

Kids as young as 8 have enlarged hearts, detailed images reveal

4:05pm, November 11, 2015
obese child

AT RISK  Detailed MRI images suggest that even young hearts may feel the strain of obesity.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Obese children as young as 8 years old may experience worrisome changes to their hearts, according to data presented November 10 at the American Heart Association’s annual scientific sessions.

While the study was small, involving 20 obese children, it found that 40 percent of the kids had enlarged hearts, a sign that the organ is under strain. The study is one of the few to use MRI to get a close look at cardiac muscle, said Linyuan Jing of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. Her team’s data add to a disturbing number of studies suggesting that children who are overweight or obese could be setting themselves up for lifelong cardiac problems (SN Online: 5/21/12).          

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