Heart problems an issue for teens with type 2 diabetes

8th June 2011

Overweight teenagers who have developed type 2 diabetes may already be at risk of heart problems despite their young age, research has shown.

A study performed at the University of Auckland in Australia compared the heart functions of young people aged between 12 and 20 who were overweight or obese and had developed type 2 diabetes, and those who had not, as well as using a control group of teens who were not overweight or obese.

They tested heart function through MRI scans, which were taken while the subject was at rest, and then again either during or immediately after the exercise.

They found that although the heart pumping mechanism was strong in all three groups, it was reduced in those with diabetes, and the heart failed to expand and fill up with blood between pumps in the way it would for normal subjects.

Lead study author Teresa Pinto said: "Although this study did not determine the reason for this, we know that with diabetes, the heart can become stiffer, limiting its ability to stretch and expand."

One-third of all children between the ages of two and 19 are overweight or obese, according to Teen Health.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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