Even children can show the first warning signs of a later heart attack. This is due to the unhealthy and one-sided diet, which leads to massive overweight and a big belly. The very same endangers heart health through messenger substances.
Some children who are overweight already show the first signs of the onset of vascular disease. These in turn are the first warning signs of a later heart attack at a young age. According to the doctor Dr. Nikolaus Marx from the German Society for Atherosclerosis Research (DGAF) was able to diagnose thickening of the vascular wall in 8 to 15 year olds. At the 5th German Arteriosclerosis Congress in Munich, Marx emphasized that this is a major problem that is causing concern. Responsible for this "is clearly the unhealthy lifestyle".
Already in her early 30s diabetes and heart attack
Of great concern is the often unhealthy lifestyle in Germany, which begins in early childhood. For some children and adolescents, the cardiologist has already identified thickening of the vessels during ultrasound examinations, “This is the beginning of atherosclerosis.” In addition, it can be observed that health problems appear in younger and younger years. At that time, “diabetes” was still considered to be an exclusive disease of old age, today type II diabetes occurs in younger and younger years. The same can also be observed by the medical team during a heart attack.
There are patients who are only in their early 30s who have diabetes and have a heart attack. "We never saw it that way before," warns the heart specialist. Some young patients even have to hope for a heart transplant because the heart attack has severely damaged the heart.
Harmful messenger substances from the belly fat
A few years ago, researchers assumed that atherosclerosis and diabetes were fundamentally favored by being overweight. Today, however, science knows from some recent studies that excess belly fat in particular is harmful to health. The big belly is a particular danger because it releases messenger substances that lead to chronic inflammation. These in turn damage the cardiovascular system and metabolism. The persistent inflammation also increases the risk of calcification of the vessels.
What is important is a healthy lifestyle. The only way out is to reduce weight, especially on the stomach. Regular exercise (sport) and a healthy diet can help. Belly fat can also be removed with the help of an operation, but that is "but not a solution that is used on a broad basis". Over 80 percent of coronary artery disease was due to an unhealthy lifestyle. The patients eat wrongly, do not exercise, smoke cigarettes and are overweight. "Therefore the way of life has to be changed".
"Children learn the eating and living habits from their parents," says social worker Gritli Bertram. It is therefore important to offer regular and balanced meals at least from the birth of the child. "If the parents demonstrate that sport is fun, children will also like to play sport later in life".
Atherosclerosis (without H) is a first stage of atherosclerosis, in which the arteries calcify. Around 400 scientists, doctors and experts from numerous countries have been advising and discussing at the congress since December 7th. In the course of the international medical meeting, new therapy options and current studies were presented and a total of 80 events were carried out. (sb)
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