A new test accurately determines risk of heart disease in teens, as well as an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Lead researcher on the project, Doctor Mark DeBoer with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital is hopeful that the new test will lead to the creation of new prevention strategies regarding type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The new test that accurately determines the risk of heart disease in teens is based on comprehensive data on a large group of participants. One set of data subject to analysis was collected from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Lipids Research Clinic, specifically the Cincinnati Clinic. All data gathered here between 1973 and 1976 on children with an average age of 12.9 years old provided the basis for the new testing method.
The research team was particularly interested in the body mass index of the children at the time, as well as other parameters including fasting glucose levels, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol levels and the levels of fasting triglycerides.
Two follow-up studies have been conducted to assess the overall health of the by-now adults. The first study was conducted between 1998 and 2003 and is titled the Princeton Follow-up Study. The second, Princeton Health Update Study was conducted between 2010 and 2014. At the time of the studies, the average age was 38.4 years and 49.6 years respectively.
Based on the findings of the new study, the recently developed test is meant to assess a patient’s metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome score is indicative of risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes that can be modified. These include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or the lack of an exercising routine and an unhealthy diet.
Doctor DeBoer explained:
“The current study was targeted at using that metabolic syndrome severity score on data from individuals who were children in the ’70s to see if it correlated with their risk on developing CVD and type 2 diabetes later in life”.
One of the greatest advantages of the new risk assessment test is that it accounts for specific risks according to a person’s age and ethnicity or race. Conventional techniques lack the capacity to represent these disparities and aren’t as accurate in revealing a person’s metabolic syndrome score.
Two papers published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the Diabetologia journal explain the findings at large.
Photo Credits: Pixabay
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