Scientists in the United States have revealed that the health of children, including whether they have conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, could help predict whether their parents will develop problems such as diabetes and heart disease later in life.
The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, involved 519 families in Ohio, showing that the weight, blood pressure and cholesterol of a 12 year old was able to help predict the chances that one of their parents would develop diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure during the next 30 years.
It was revealed that parents had around twice the chance of suffering from early heart disease or stroke if their child had high blood pressure when aged 12, and that when children were overweight, their parents’ risk of diabetes or high blood pressure was seen to be doubled. An explanation offered by the report was that a lot of parents may not get be receiving check-ups, but do take their kids to the GP on a regular basis.
The US National Institutes of Health recommends that children should have their cholesterol measured when are between 9 and 11, and then again around the ages of 17 to 21. However, some experts claim that children should not have too many checks on cholesterol levels, as previously children were screened only if they were deemed at risk, such as those with diabetes or having heart disease in the family.

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