Introduction Atherosclerosis is among the important long term complications and leading causes of death among obese children and adolescents. Its risk factors (RFs) include mainly: high body mass index (BMI), central obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity (PA), hypertension, hyperglycemia, elevated uric acid (UA), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), inflammation, adhesion molecules (as E-selectin) and highly sensitive (hs) CRP.
Aim of the work To determine the extent and severity of the aforementioned obesity-related atherosclerotic risk factors among school aged children and adolescents.
Subjects and methods The sample has included 98 obese (non-syndromic) and 36 non obese control subjects aged 6–16 years. A questionnaire was filled to evaluate the daily and weekly PA calculated in hours, anthropometry was done and blood pressure was measured, together with assessment of serum lipid profile and levels of fasting blood sugar, ALT, UA, E-selectin and hs CRP.
Results 55% of obese group have shown 4 or 5 atherosclerotic RFs. One or more features of abnormal lipid profile were found in 94% of obese group with 73% showing high cholesterol level. ALT and UA were significantly higher in the obese group, similarly E-selectin that was elevated in71% of obese and hs CRP were significantly higher among obese. FBS did not show similar significant elevations. Positive correlations were found between cholesterol, E-selectin and hs CRP with BMI and waist/hip ratio.
Conclusion Most of obese children and adolescents do suffer from some risk factors that can lead to an earlier and greater risk for developing atherosclerosis.