What leads to the appearance of prematurely aged arteries in teens? According to a recent paper published by the American Heart Association, teenagers with type 2 diabetes, obesity, or high systolic blood pressure are more likely to show premature blood vessel aging than those without any such health condition. The research was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
These findings were based on a five-year-long study. Of the 448 participants, 141 teens were with normal weight, 156 with obesity, and 151 with type 2 diabetes. The average age at the start of the study was 17.6 years. At the end of five years, teens with obesity, high systolic blood pressure, or obesity were found to have significantly higher chances of stiff and thick carotid arteries.
“Having obesity, type 2 diabetes or high systolic blood pressure were each independently associated with and equally predictive of having thicker and stiffer arteries among this group of young people. What surprised our team the most was that participants with higher systolic blood pressure compared to their peers in the study had a very similar risk as those with obesity or type 2 diabetes for thicker and stiffer blood vessels over time,” lead study author Justin R. Ryder said in an AHA press statement.
This study also indicated that the risks of atherosclerosis appeared early in life. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing of arteries. It happens over time and is usually seen with natural aging. It increases the risk of cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks.