(HealthDay News) – From 1999–2008 the prevalence of several cardiovascular disease risk factors remained stable among US adolescents, but the burden of risk factors is still considerable.

To investigate recent trends in the prevalence of selected CVD risk factors among US adolescents, Ashleigh L. May, PhD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,383 12–19 year old participants from the 1999–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that from 1999–2008 the overall prevalence of prehypertension/hypertension was 14%, borderline-high/high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol was 22%, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<35mg/dL) was 6%, and prediabetes/diabetes was 15%. Over the study period there were no significant changes in the prevalence of prehypertension/hypertension (17% in 1999–2000 and 13% in 2007–2008) and borderline-high/high LDL cholesterol (23 and 19%, respectively), but the prevalence of prediabetes/diabetes increased from 9 to 21%. There was a dose-response increase in the prevalence of each of these CVD risk factors by weight categories, with 37% of overweight teens, 49% of obese teens, and 61% of normal-weight teens having at least one of these CVD risk factors during the study period.

“The results of this national study indicate that US adolescents carry a substantial burden of CVD risk factors, especially those youth who are overweight or obese,” the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)