Overweight children and teenagers who have a vitamin D deficiency could be at greater risk of developing heart disease as they get older, according to new research.
The Daily Mail reported on a US study carried out by researchers at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, which is one of the first to link heart disease in children and teenagers with a lack of the vitamin.
Speaking to the newspaper, Dr Marisa Censani, one of the study’s authors, explained that their findings support the need to carry out screening for vitamin D deficiency in overweight and obese youngsters.
“Vitamin D deficiency may have negative effects on specific lipid markers with an increase in cardiovascular risk among children and adolescents,” she stated.
While many people take vitamin D supplements, particularly in the winter months, our skin is able to produce the vitamin when exposed to the UV rays from the sun.
Of course, there’s a balancing act between getting enough sun to stay healthy, and too much which can lead to a risk of skin cancer. Staying safe in the sun is the best way to go, which means covering up and moving into shade during the hottest part of the day, and wearing appropriate sunscreen when you’re out and about.
In the UK, at least 12 young people die unexpectedly each week as a result of a previously undiagnosed heart condition, according to figures from Cardiac Risk in the Young.
The organisation runs a subsidised screening programme for young people aged between 14 and 35, allowing them to have an ECG to detect any previously unknown heart problems.
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*Stats are taken at the time of published article