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Preserving Optimal Cardiovascular Health in Children

Perak, A. M.; Benuck, I.

Pediatr Ann. 2018 Dec 14; 47(12):e479-e486


The origins of cardiovascular disease are at the beginning of life, and national guidelines recommend evaluation for cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and hypertension as part of general pediatric care. In this review, a simple plan is proposed for clear and consistent monitoring and messaging throughout childhood, based on the American Heart Association's "cardiovascular health" construct. A framework is provided for age-appropriate scoring of the cardiovascular health components, including diet, physical activity and screen time, sleep, smoking exposure, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose. Guidance is provided for evidence-based, efficient intervention by pediatric clinicians to preserve or restore cardiovascular health. Finally, anticipated near-term advances in pediatric cardiovascular health promotion are previewed. [Pediatr Ann. 2018;47(12):e479-e486.].

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