At the recent American Diabetes Association annual meeting, researchers presented data that showed children with diabetes are more likely than other children to have stiff blood vessels that do not function properly. This situation is potentially dangerous for diabetic children because prolonged high blood sugar levels combined with family history, inflammatory factors, and other medical problems can cause the deterioration of blood vessel health over the years, explained Michael Haller, MD.
For the study, the researchers measured pressure waves created in blood vessels when the heart pumps blood into the arteries. The results indicated that in healthy children, blood vessels responded to blood flow by dilating. In contrast, blood vessels in diabetic children were more rigid. Physicians need to encourage children?especially those with diabetes?to adopt heart-healthy habits at a young age, concluded Dr. Haller.