Cardiovascular morbidity, diabetes and cancer risk among chi
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Severe obesity among children and adolescents is a significant global public health concern. The prevalence has markedly increased over the last decades, becoming common in many countries. Overwhelming rates of obesity among youth have prompted efforts to identify an evidence-based immediate- and long-term cardiometabolic risk factor profile in childhood-onset severe obesity, and to highlight gaps that require further investigation.

The database was systematically searched in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The search yielded 831 results, of which 60 fulfilled stringent criteria and were summarized in this review. The definition of severe obesity was variable, with only one half the publications using the definition BMI greater than 120% of the 95th percentile.

Point estimates of the prevalence of at least one cardiometabolic risk factor in children with severe obesity reportedly range from 67 to 86%. Cross-sectional studies indicate that children and adolescents with severe obesity are at greater risk than those with mild obesity for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver disease and dyslipidemia, already at childhood and adolescence.

Robust epidemiological data on the long-term risk and actual point estimates in adulthood are lacking for these diseases as well as for other diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease and cancer). Recent longitudinal studies indicate an increased risk for cardiomyopathy, heart failure, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality in adulthood for adolescents with severe obesity compared to those with mild obesity.

Given the alarming increase in the prevalence of severe obesity, the persistence of adiposity from childhood to adulthood and the precarious course of young adults with chronic comorbidities, the economic and clinical services burden on the healthcare system is expected to rise.