Recognising risk factors in paediatric population for cardiovascular disease development in adulthood

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Croatia. One of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease development isabdominal obesity. More recently, the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) has been used as a more reliable method for determining this typeof obesity. According to the research so far, the problem of obesity begins from the age of five. Studies that also included this age groupused WHtR values ≥0.5 as elevated for all age groups and both genders. However, recent research is limited to children aged 6 to 18years and defines a limit of WHtR index ≥0.459 for girls and ≥0.473 for boys. This study aimed to determine the extent to which riskfactors are present in children, whether their parents recognize them, and whether they are aware of the need to develop healthierlifestyle habits to prevent cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Our study included 1418 children, 730 boys and 688 girls, aged 5 to 15years, from three paediatric offices of the Zagreb West Health Centre. According to the WHtR criterion ≥0.5, 7.3% of boys and 8.8% ofgirls were at an increased health risk for cardiovascular disease. However, according to the latest WHtR criteria, 25.1% of girls and21.4% of boys were at increased risk. Furthermore, as many as 79.6% of parents did not recognize the risk factors for cardiovasculardisease in their children. The results of our study are similar to the results of other studies and show that most parents are not aware ofthe problem of obesity and therefore do not see the need for change in their children’s life habits. Accordingly, we conclude that itwould be necessary to take additional educational measures both in primary paediatric care and in educational institutions with theaim of timely and effective intervention that would, as expected, contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality in adulthood.Key words: PEDIATRIC OBESITY; Waist-Height Ratio ; OBESITY, ABDOMINAL
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 63, No 4, october - december 2019
Authors: Dragica Šakić, Milivoj Jovančević, Zrinka Šakić, Ivana Jurin, Giovana Armano, Sonja Oković
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2019;63:133-8

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