Low-Grade Inflammation in Adolescents Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

By Tamara Thomas - March 10, 2023

According to a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, early vascular damage and atherosclerosis in teenagers could be due to low-grade inflammation.

Low-grade inflammation is a significant cause of various diseases in adults, and it can worsen due to aging and unhealthy lifestyle habits. However, it is unclear whether low-grade inflammation causes premature vascular damage in healthy growing children and adolescents.

Researchers decided to observe this relationship. They conducted a study in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Canada, the University of Bristol, UK, the University of Exeter, UK, the University of Illinois, US, and the University of Eastern Finland.

The researchers monitored a cohort of 3862 17-year-old adolescents for 7 years until they reached 24. The study results revealed that 1 in 3 males and 1 in 2 females were at risk for higher and worsening inflammation by age 24.

They also discovered that inflammation can cause different types of blood vessel damage in males and females. It may lead to thicker carotid walls in males, indicating early atherosclerosis. Whereas in females, it may result in stiffer arteries. According to the researchers, these new findings could help them better understand how early cardiovascular disease develops and how to treat it.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that being overweight or obese didn’t make a difference in the adverse effects of inflammation on premature vascular damage.

“The question that comes to mind is what could cause inflammation in healthy children and adolescents? Unfortunately, the type of diet a child is exposed to may significantly increase inflammation,” says Andrew Agbaje, physician and clinical epidemiologist at the University of Eastern Finland.

Agbaje points out that fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods have significant anti-inflammatory properties and should be consumed regularly by families. In contrast, a diet of foods high in saturated and trans fats, deep-fried food, red and processed meat, and sugar may be associated with premature vascular damage since they are highly associated with chronic inflammation.

Source: Medical.net news

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