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The results showed that the obese adolescents had damaged hearts with thicker walls and impaired heart function.
The study is scheduled for presentation today at the Heart Failure Congress in Belgrade, Serbia, an annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.
"Education on healthy food and exercise is needed in schools to prevent obesity and early cardiovascular disease in adolescents," lead author Gani Bajraktari, professor of internal medicine and cardiology at the University of Pristina in Kosovo, said in an association news release. "This is an important step in preventing obesity and cardiovascular disease in adults."
Further studies are needed to determine if heart damage in obese adolescents can be reversed if they lose weight, the researchers said.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
-- Robert Preidt
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