Age is no bar when it comes to heart diseases. Cardiovascular complications perceived to be a retirement days’ worry is catching up with children too. If your children are obese you have all the more reason to worry.

Experts at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress have warned that obese children are showing shocking evidence of premature hardening of arteries. While many children generally have congenital heart diseases; acquired heart problems were unheard of, but no longer. This was revealed at a congress co-hosted by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Montreal recently.

Kevin Harris, a pediatrician with B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and his team of researchers evaluated more than 60 obese children with high body mass index (BMI). He used an ultrasound machine to measure blood flow.

The researchers found that these kids were already showing signs of heart disease. The Aortas, the largest artery in a human body were found to be impaired while other heart functions including blood pressure, lipid and cholesterol levels were normal. A stiff aorta is indicative of heart attack and strokes.

Obesity is an emerging lifestyle health issue in pediatrics, said George Honos, a spokesman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the last 25 years. About 25 per cent of Canadian children between the ages of two and 17 are overweight or obese and that increases to 29 per cent among teens age 12 to 17. Vascular diseases include many types of dementia.

Now, what even draws more serious concerns is the link of vascular diseases to dementia. The reason is humans have more blood vessels in the brain than in the heart, said Honos. The estimated number of dementia patients in Canada is expected to more than double from the current 500,000 to 1.1 million by 2038, he added.