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A data review by Canadian researchers showed that children who have risk factors for heart diseasefatty diets, lack of exerciseare showing early signs of atherosclerosis. Studies that included 3630 children aged 5 to 18 years from Australia, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States used noninvasive methods to measure arterial blood flow and thickness of artery walls. Among the children who exhibited early signs of heart disease, there were also indications of clogging arteries. Researcher Sanaz Piran, MD, an internal medicine resident at McMaster University in Ontario, said, "Children are eating too [many] fatty and processed foods. Parents need to involve their children in regular exercise activities and cut down on fatty meals. There needs to be a family-oriented approach to cardiovascular prevention." Results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago in November 2006.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.