Childhood obesity and cardiovascular dysfunction

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Oct 8;62(15):1309-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.07.042. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


Obesity-related cardiovascular disease in children is becoming more prevalent in conjunction with the rise in childhood obesity. Children with obesity are predisposed to an increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adulthood. Importantly, research in children with obesity over the last decade has demonstrated that children may exhibit early signs of cardiovascular dysfunction as a result of their excess adiposity, often independent of other obesity-related comorbidities such as dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. The clinical evidence is accumulating to suggest that the cardiovascular damage, once observed only in adults, is also occurring in obese children. The objective of this review is to provide a synopsis of the current research on cardiovascular abnormalities in children with obesity and highlight the importance and need for early detection and prevention programs to mitigate this potentially serious health problem.

Keywords: BMI; CIMT; CV; CVD; FMD; LV; PWV; body mass index; cardiac function; cardiovascular; cardiovascular disease; carotid intima-media thickness; children; flow-mediated dilation; left ventricular; obesity; pulse wave velocity; vascular dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Child
  • Diet
  • Echocardiography
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Pericardium / pathology
  • Vascular Stiffness / physiology