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Metabolic Syndrome in Girls

Embargoed for Release:
November 7, 2005

New results from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Growth and Health Study demonstrate the development and prevalence of metabolic syndrome among black and white girls, through a 10-year study of over 2,000 girls beginning at ages 9 and 10. Height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar measures were taken at intervals and applied to the current definition of metabolic syndrome.

"Development of the Metabolic Syndrome in Black and White Adolescent Girls: A Longitudinal Assessment," will be published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Eva Obarzanek, an NHLBI research nutritionist, is available to comment on the study's findings that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome increased significantly from only one case (0.2%) among girls of each race at age 9 or 10, to 3 percent of black girls and 2.3 percent of white girls by age 18 or 19. Increases in waist circumference were found to be a leading contributor to development of the syndrome. Dr. Obarzanek can also discuss NHLBI's public education efforts to reduce overweight and obesity in childhood.

To schedule interviews, contact the NHLBI Communications Office at 301-496-4236.