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New research identifies modifiable risk factors for heart disease
Date:12/11/2009

(73 percent) were current or former smokers. By assessing smoking status repeatedly over time, authors believe this study provides a more accurate picture of true smoking habits.

Interactive, Structured Physical Activity Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Early Markers of Atherosclerosis in Pre-Pubertal Obese Children

Hypertension and initial signs of atherosclerosis develop before puberty in obese children, underscoring the urgent need to identify strategies to prevent the progression of heart disease in this population.

New research demonstrates for the first time that a regular and achievable physical activity program results in a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and a decrease in arterial stiffness after 3 months, as well as stabilization of the intra-media thickness after 6 months in these children. These changes were found to be independent of body weight or fat loss and are of greater magnitude in children with high blood pressure, suggesting a direct effect of exercise on blood pressure lowering. Reductions in blood pressure were clinically relevant, ranging from -7 to -12 mmHg for SBP and -2 to -7 mm Hg for DBP. In the exercise group, the proportion of children with hypertension was reduced significantly from 50 percent to 37 percent at 3 months and 29 percent at 6 months. The exercise groups also had reductions in abdominal fat and increases in their aerobic fitness.

This trial enrolled 44 pre-pubertal children ages 6 to 11 years with body mass index over the 97th age- and sex-specific percentile. The children were randomized to 3 months of exercise training after school or remaining relatively inactive. After three months, both groups trained twice per week for another 3 months. Twenty-two lean children were recruited for baseline comparison.

Structured exercise sessions were supervised and deliberately made enjoyable for the children with activities including swimming and ball games. E
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Contact: Amanda Jekowsky
ajekowsk@acc.org
202-375-6645
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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