Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Children
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also known as heart disease, is an umbrella term for any ailments concerning the heart or blood vessels. It is a problem that is commonly seen in adults but is now increasingly being seen in children as well.
In this article, we discuss what pediatricians and parents should know about CVD in children, the signs and symptoms, the risk factors, and what can be done to prevent it.
Signs & Symptoms
CVD in children can be harder to recognize because it does not always cause symptoms. In some cases, the only sign may be an abnormal heartbeat or high blood pressure.
However, some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, and swollen feet/ankles/legs.
There are two types of risk factors when it comes to CVD in children.
The first type are those that can be modified, including overweight and obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, and physical inactivity.
The second type are those that cannot be modified, such as family history, age, gender, and ethnicity.
There are some steps that parents can take to help lower the risk of their child developing CVD.
The primary approach should be focusing on lifestyle changes, such as encouraging physical activity, promoting healthy eating habits, and providing an environment that does not involve or expose children to smoking.
Parents should also encourage their children to get regular physical check-ups with their pediatrician to monitor any potential signs and symptoms of CVD, as well as any risk factors.
Cardiovascular disease in children is a growing problem, one that parents and pediatricians need to be aware of. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of CVD can help parents to prevent it in their children by making lifestyle changes and providing regular health checks.
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