Preteens with a high body mass index (BMI) have increased risk factors for coronary artery disease in adolescence, researchers have found.
Those with a greater BMI between ages 9 and 12 were more likely to have high blood pressure, high levels of LDL cholesterol -- the so-called bad cholesterol -- and triglycerides, and insulin resistance at ages 15 or 16, Dr. Debbie Lawlor of the University of Bristol in England and colleagues reported in BMJ.
"Childhood BMI alone adequately identifies those who will be at increased risk of adverse cardiovascular profiles in adolescence," they wrote.
At baseline, a total of 18.5% of the children in the study were overweight; 4.5% were obese.
The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors at ages 15 and 16 ranged from 2.9% for high diastolic blood pressure and triglycerides, to 28.8% for high systolic blood pressure.