SOCESP data reveals an upward trend in dyslipidemia in children and adolescents

Lack of physical activity and lack of nutrition and foods rich in saturated fat can promote a true epidemic of high cholesterol (dyslipidemia) in childhood and adolescence. Observational data from the NHANES Study (The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) estimated a 7.8% increase in total cholesterol in children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 17. In this analysis, about one in five children and adolescents aged 8-17 years had some lipid changes (total cholesterol, HDL-C, or non-HDL-C).

Brazilian research ERICA (A study of cardiovascular risk during adolescence) Data were assessed from Brazilian adolescents aged 12 to 17 years. Lipid changes were defined as LDL-C ≥ 100 mg / dL, HDL-C <45 mg / dL, and triglycerides (TG) ≥ 100 mg / dL. Of the total 38,069 adolescents included, more than 24,000 had at least one abnormal lipid profile value (64.7%) and 3.7% had changes in three parameters. The most common combination of lipid disorders was high triglycerides and low HDL-C. As expected, the higher the body mass index of adolescents, the higher the incidence of combined lipid disorders.

LDL is responsible for the formation of fatty plaques – in the arteries, obstructing blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL, on the other hand, prevents cardiovascular disease (CVD) by reducing plaque accumulation. The country has a population of 70 million children and young people, representing 33% of Brazilians.

Obesity, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and smoking are among the risk factors for the installation of atherosclerotic diseases – the accumulation of cholesterol plaque in the arterial wall. This interferes with blood flow and creates an ideal situation for CVDs. The development of cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic disorders in childhood leads to damage to cardiovascular health in adulthood, including weight gain and obesity.

And the number of overweight people between the ages of 2 and 19 has increased over the past four decades: North American data, over the past decade, indicate that 17% of people in this age group are obese and 15% are overweight. Lipid profiles (high total cholesterol, LDL-C and triglycerides and low HDL-C), high blood pressure (BP), glucose and insulin concentrations in obese adolescents are significantly worse than in their non-obese peers.

“If, before, dyslipidemia in children is mainly due to genetic factors such as familial hypercholesterolemia (a genetic mutation characterized by increased cholesterol at the expense of LDL-C, which is the most frequent and high level of cardiovascular event in adults), Deterioration of eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and obesity at this stage of life determine the causes of increased metabolic risk, which is characterized by high triglyceride levels and low HDL-C “, says cardiologist Anna Paula Marte Chacra, who is 42nd co He will deliver a lecture on atherosclerosis in adolescents, to be held June 16, 17 and 18 at the Transamerica Expo Center in S সাo Paulo.

The future

Concerns about the theme are justified: a survey by the Center for North American Studies Bogalusa Heart Study It has been found that children with abnormal lipid values ​​maintain about 50% inconsistency between adults. “Most dyslipidemia begins in childhood or adolescence and, therefore, it is important to identify these individuals through early management to reduce future cardiovascular risk.”

According to the cardiologist, first of all, it is important to identify severe dyslipidemia, which requires the use of medication. “A recent study found that taking statins when needed from infancy was associated with a reduction in the progression of atherosclerosis in children with familial hypercholesterolemia,” said Anna Pala. But in most cases – with elevated cholesterol or high triglycerides at this age – it is possible to control the indicators through healthy living habits, including diet and physical activity. “It is the cheapest, most effective and uninterrupted drug that can truly tear the disease apart.”


42nd Congress of Cardiology of SOCESP

Event date: 16 to 18 June 2022

Location: TransAmerica Expo Center, Sao Paulo / SP


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