Additional cardiovascular risk factors associated with excess weigth in children and adolescents: the Belo Horizonte heart study

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of overweight and obesity with physical activity, blood pressure (BP) and serum lipid profiles. METHODS: Epidemiologic investigation of 1,450 students, between the ages of 6 and 18, in the city of Belo Horizonte, MG. Data: weight, height, BP, skinfold thickness, waist circumference, physical activity, total cholesterol (TC), LDL-c, HDL-c, and dietary habits. RESULTS: The prevalence rates for overweight and obesity were 8.4% and 3.1%, respectively. In relation to the students in the lower quartile (Q1) of the distribution of subscapular skinfold, the students in the upper quartile (Q4) presented a 3.7 times higher risk (odds ratio) of having elevated TC levels. Overweight and obese students had a 3.6 times higher risk of having elevated systolic blood pressure, and a 2.7 times higher risk of elevated diastolic blood pressure when compared to normal weight students. The less active students in the Q1 of distribution of MET presented a 3.8 times higher risk of having elevated TC levels compared to those who were more active (Q4). CONCLUSION: Students who were overweight, obese or in the upper quartiles for other adiposity variables, as well as students with low levels of physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle presented higher blood pressure levels and a lipid profile indicative of an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis.

Obesity; blood pressure; motor activity; nutrition; child; adolescent

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