Monday, June 18, 2007

Kids’ growth patterns tied to adult hypertension

Development may impact kidneys or liver, leading to condition, study says

NEW YORK - Two distinct patterns of childhood growth may raise the odds of developing high blood pressure later in life, a new study suggests.

Low birth weight has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease in adulthood by a number of studies. Researchers suspect that poor growth in the womb may “program” the body’s metabolism and development in ways that raise the odds of cardiovascular disease.

In the new study, researchers identified two different patterns of childhood growth, from birth to age 11, that were linked to high blood pressure in older age.

People with the first pattern tended to be short and underweight at birth, and to then gain weight slowly until age 2. After 2 years of age, they put pounds on more rapidly, so by the age of 11, they were of average body size.

People with the second pattern were also relatively short at birth and gained weight slowly throughout childhood, but by age 11, they were shorter and thinner than average.

This from MSNBC.

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