Children and adolescents may be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) because of significant atherosclerotic or arteriosclerotic risk factors or high-risk conditions that promote atherosclerosis, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA). The updated statement presents considerations for clinical management regarding the assessment of risk reduction of select pediatric populations at high risk for premature CVD, including acquired arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis. It is directed toward pediatric cardiologists, primary care providers, and subspecialists who provide clinical care for pediatric patients. Among the statement highlights and changes since 2006:
- Obesity and severe obesity are now considered significant risk factors for an increase risk of CVD in children and teens.
- Type 2 diabetes has been elevated to a high-risk condition because of its association with additional CV risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity.
- The expansion of the risks of premature heart disease associated with treatments for childhood cancers.
de Ferranti SD, Steinberger J, Ameduri R, et al. Cardiovascular risk reduction in high-risk pediatric patients. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. [Published online ahead of print February 25, 2019]. Circulation. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000618.