Although heart disease is rare among teens, it is possible. Teenagers who aren’t active enough may be at greater risk for metabolic syndrome, which could lead to more serious heart problems later on.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions that can occur in conjunction, such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, excessive fat around the waist, and increased blood sugar. If caught early, metabolic syndrome can be reversed.
Certain risk factors can be managed early in life to lower the chance of developing heart disease later on in life.
These risk factors are:
- Insulin resistance
- High blood pressure
- High levels of cholesterol
Insulin resistance and central obesity
Obese people are more likely have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These factors can all increase the risk of developing heart disease. Teenagers who have a waist circumference of more than 94cm (male or female) are considered to be obese. This puts them at greater risk for developing insulin resistance and high fasting sugar.
Recent US studies have shown that energy drinks, soft drinks, and coffee account for 13% in teenagers’ calorie intake. This is another factor contributing to heart disease.
Many teenagers enjoy soft drinks, especially energy drinks. They often drink them to get over a lack of sleep. These energy drinks can give you a temporary boost of energy, but they’re also high in caffeine and sugar.
They can cause irregular heartbeats in healthy individuals, according to studies. This could be harmful for your heart health. They can be even more dangerous for teens who have an underlying condition.
Teens love Machiatto Lattes as well as Bubble Teas. These high-calorie drinks are low in protein and fiber, but high in sugars and carbohydrates, which can lead to increased sugar and insulin resistance. This contributes to the global epidemic known as metabolic syndrome.
Healthy eating, exercise and plenty of sleep are better ways to boost energy and keep your heart healthy.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause the heart to pump harder, and the arteries to be under more strain. High blood pressure can eventually damage the heart and other organs.
Research shows that teens who have poor sleep or are infrequently sleeping are more likely than others to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which are preconditions for heart disease.
Many teenagers in Singapore are sleeping late and getting up early. Although puberty can alter the body clock, and your teenager may believe that controlling their nightly routine is a way to enter adulthood, teens still need at least nine and a quarter hours of sleep each night.
High levels of cholesterol
An elevated level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) at an early age increases your risk of developing heart disease. A study also found that even those with lower LDL cholesterol levels, this increased risk persists.
Because LDL cholesterol seems to cause irreversible and long-lasting damage to the arteries. The risk of developing heart disease is higher if a person has high cholesterol for a longer time.
High cholesterol among teens is caused by three main factors:
- A diet high in fats and unhealthy eating habits are dangerous.
- High cholesterol in the family, particularly if one or both of the parents has high cholesterol
Teens with metabolic syndrome have high levels or low levels of good cholesterol and triglycerides. These can increase your risk of developing heart disease, just like high levels of LDL.
Many teens smoke to fit in with their peers. However, nicotine cigarettes are addictive.
Nicotine can narrow blood vessels and make the heart work harder. The risk of developing heart disease is increased by the addition of tar and other chemicals.
They can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. This can raise cholesterol and lower the effectiveness of fibrinogen (an important blood clotting agent).
According to some estimates, 75% of all heart disease cases in young people are caused by smoking. This is alarming. The risk of developing heart disease is higher if you start smoking young.
It is a sad truth that 90% of smokers start smoking before age 19. Tobacco is expected to eventually kill 3 out of 6 children in Singapore’s Primary 6 classes today.
Heart disease is linked to physical inactivity. One study among teens in Singapore found that half of those with elevated metabolic syndrome risk were either normal or underweight. These teens did not have any weight problems, but their sedentary lifestyle was responsible for the metabolic syndrome risk.
Every teenager should exercise for at least 60 minutes each day. You should do a mixture of high- and low-intensity exercises.
You can limit how much time your teen spends watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the web if they are physically inactive.
You can also enroll them in organized sports lessons or other outdoor clubs that match their interests. Include physical activity in family outings. You can also do walking, biking and hiking together.
Teenage heart disease is not directly linked to stress. People who are stressed tend to make poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods. These habits can lead to a decline in heart health over time.
Teen stress can be caused by many things. Stress can be caused by many things, including schoolwork, exams, bullying, and problems with family members or friends. They can manifest in a variety of ways such as anxiety, tension, emotional exhaustion and sadness.
Effectively managing stress can make a big difference in one’s mental and physical health. It is important to identify the root cause of stress and manage it. Talking with someone trusted is important as well as spending time doing positive things, such sports or a creative hobby.
Summary: Teenagers at high risk for heart disease are those who develop metabolic syndrome, or any other risk factors.
The 3 things teens can do to prevent heart disease are to be healthy in their diet, sleep and exercise. Teens should also avoid smoking! If you think your teen is at risk, bring him or her to a medical check-up.