Preventive Medicine Needs to Begin with Our Children

Danielle M. Lambrick, Lee Stoner, James Faulkner, Michael J Hamlin


Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) is typically associated
with middle- or old-age, the atherosclerotic process often initiates early in childhood and is occurring at an increasing rate. There is a consensus that changes in life-style have driven the current epidemic. Adverse changes in physical activity, nutrition, and sleep behavior have been strongly linked to the development of a host of cardio-metabolic conditions, including obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. These conditions independently and additively increase CVD risk, even in children and adolescents. The result is that today’s children and adolescents are not only becoming pre-conditioned for CVD, but are also, due to developmental issues, unable to achieve the level of health achieved by their parents. Such early development of the disease risk factors also means that by simply focusing on the clinical manifestations of CVD that is “reactive” medicine, we are tackling the problem too late. Public health-care policy needs to place a stronger focus on paediatric “preventive” medicine, not only for the well-being of children, but to alleviate the increasing economic cost that is being placed on society through the prolonged burden of disease.

Keywords:Cardiovascular, exercise, indigenous, life-style, obesity,

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