Heart attack or ischemic heart disease, once thought to be a middle-aged disease to the elderly population, has extended its encroachment to the young group. It is not surprising now to hear about the increasing incidence of heart attacks in teenagers and children.
Among the culprit factors that increase the risk of a heart attack in a young group, obesity is number one and probably the lethal one. According to a report by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 16% to 33% of teenagers and children are obese- an alarming fact.
Obesity in Children
Many factors influence body weight in adults and children; genes, prenatal and early life developments, poor diets, not enough physical activity, sitting around too much, too little sleep, etc. Childhood obesity can be due to external factors (exogenous disorder) or internal factors (endogenous disorder). Exogenous disorder in teenagers is due to long-term overeating. In contrast, endogenous conditions in the pediatric age group are linked to Hormonal, Syndromic, and Monogenic.
- Syndromic Obesity Disorders – Syndromic obesity is used to describe patients with cognitive delay and mental retardation.
- Monogenic Obesity Disorders – Monogenic obesity is associated with a single gene change that causes obesity in a food-abundant environment.
Almost 75% of children and teenagers who have obesity are expected to remain obese as they become adults. In adult life, these persons are more at risk of succumbing to heart disease.
Obesity and Cardiovascular Problems
How obesity causes, heart disease is a complex and multifactorial phenomenon. Obesity causes insulin resistance, increased triglycerides, and cholesterol in the blood, and high blood pressure. All these factors accelerate the process of atherosclerosis that leads to the narrowing of blood vessels by depositing more and more cholesterol in the wall of blood vessels. When narrowing in coronary arteries (blood vessels supplying the heart) becomes severe, then the patient feels chest pain in doing physical activity.
This pain is called angina and occurs due to increased demand for oxygen to the heart during physical work, but due to narrowed blood vessels, blood flow to the heart cannot be increased. When a coronary artery becomes completed occluded, there is no more blood supply to the heart, leading to damage of heart muscles called a heart attack or myocardial infarction.
Obesity and Heart Attack Risk
Research has shown that the severity of obesity is directly related to an increased risk of a heart attack. In the same way, the duration of obesity also counts for obesity risk: a person who lives with obesity for 10 years has more likelihood of heart attack than an individual who remains obese for 5 years. People who have more severe obesity and stay in the state of obesity for a prolonged period are more at risk of heart attack than those who lose weight quickly and come to their average weight earlier.
Obesity has other metabolic ramifications, such as liver failure in teenagers. These facts stress taking obesity a serious problem and managing extra weight as soon as possible.
Reduce the Likelihood of Heart Attack
To reduce the likelihood of heart attack in teenagers is to overcome weight gain as early as possible. We need to help children keep a healthy weight by preparing balanced meals and creating an active environment. For rapid and sustained weight loss, there are several weight loss surgery options that depend on the severity of obesity and vary from patient to patient.
Research has shown that bariatric surgery in teenagers with a body mass index of 35 or more is a more efficient and safe option that quickly reverses the risk of a heart attack. Medical scientists believe that reducing weight as early as possible makes Bariatric surgery a superior choice to other weight loss methods.
In favor of bariatric surgery, the researchers argue that other methods of losing weight in people with a body mass index of 35 or more are not so efficient; moreover, there are more chances of weight gain after losing it. Teenagers who undergo weight loss surgery start losing weight within weeks, and this process continues till they achieve a healthy weight. Due to these reasons, bariatric surgery reduces the risk of a heart attack more than other weight loss methods.
Related: Gastric Sleeve vs. Gastric Bypass
While it is clear that bariatric surgery is a good option for the management of teenage obesity, the question arises which facility should be selected for this particular surgery? There are so many choices for bariatric surgery, but the right thing is a facility that has a track record of safety and success. Such a safe facility is only a dedicated bariatric surgery hospital where experienced surgeons perform weight loss procedures in the sterilized operation theater.
The success rate of weight loss methods is high at such a dedicated Bariatric surgery hospital that justifies the selection. Remember! Surgery centers that claim to be cheaper in the market are not good choices for critical Bariatric surgery procedures. They lack many safety measures and experienced staff and may actually complicate the situation.