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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 23, 2013

The effect of childhood obesity on cardiac functions

Abdurrahman Üner, Murat Doğan, Zerrin Epcacan and Serdar Epçaçan


Obesity is a metabolic disorder defined as excessive accumulation of body fat, which is made up of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors and has various social, psychological, and medical complications. Childhood obesity is a major indicator of adult obesity. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cardiac functions via electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography (ECHO), and treadmill test in childhood obesity. A patient group consisting of 30 obese children and a control group consisting of 30 non-obese children were included in the study. The age range was between 8 and 17 years. Anthropometric measurements, physical examination, ECG, ECHO, and treadmill test were done in all patients. P-wave dispersion (PD) was found to be statistically significantly high in obese patients. In ECHO analysis, we found that end-diastolic diameter, end-systolic diameter, left ventricle posterior wall thickness, and interventricular septum were significantly greater in obese children. In treadmill test, exercise capacity was found to be significantly lower and the hemodynamic response to exercise was found to be defective in obese children. Various cardiac structural and functional changes occur in childhood obesity and this condition includes important cardiovascular risks. PD, left ventricle end-systolic and end-diastolic diameter, left ventricle posterior wall thickness, interventricular septum thickness, exercise capacity, and hemodynamic and ECG measurements during exercise testing are useful tests to determine cardiac dysfunctions and potential arrhythmias even in early stages of childhood obesity. Early recognition and taking precautions for obesity during childhood is very important to intercept complications that will occur in adulthood.

Corresponding author: Murat Doğan, MD, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, YYU School of Medicine, 65100, Van, Turkey, E-mail:


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Received: 2013-4-22
Accepted: 2013-9-9
Published Online: 2013-10-23
Published in Print: 2014-03-01

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