LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19, 2010) - In a study of more than 4,500 children, researchers found those with higher waist circumferences had significantly higher pulse pressures, which is known to increase the risk of heart-related disorders, according to an abstract presented today at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week conference in Denver.
Gangadarshni Chandramohan, MD, a researcher at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) and the lead author of the abstract, said the research team studied data from 4,667 children aged 6 to 17 years who were part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study's authors advocate for measuring waist circumference - rather than body mass index - during routine physical examinations to identify children who are at risk for heart disease.
"We found the children's body mass didn't correlate to higher pulse pressures, but their waist circumference did," Dr. Chandramohan said. "This study suggests pediatricians add waist measurements to their routine screening of children to help determine the risk of heart-related disorders. Measuring waist circumference is a much simpler, more cost-effective and a more valid method of screening for the risk of heart-related disorders than the current practice of determining a child's body mass."
Previous studies have found a high pulse pressure - the difference between the systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings - increases a patient's risk of heart-related disorders - as does high blood pressure.
"It is crucial that new indices for measuring various physiologic parameters such as obesity and associated cardiovascular risk factors be determined using valid, minimally invasive and cost-effective tools to help patients avoid long-term health concerns," said Dr. Chandramohan.
Study co-authors included: Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, LA BioMed; Sheena Cecille Marie Go, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Keith Norris, MD, and Dulcie Kermah, both from Charles Drew University School of Medicine.
Dr. Chandramohan presented the abstract at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week, which is billed as the world's premier meeting in nephrology where nearly 14,000 participants exchange knowledge and work to improve kidney health. The American Society of Nephrology is the largest organization dedicated to leading the fight against kidney disease. Its more than 11,000 members include physicians, scientists and other health professionals, all committed to improving kidney care by advancing scientific knowledge and clinical practice.
About LA BioMed
Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has more than 150 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and cures for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including immunization and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.LABioMed.org