For Heart Health, Make Your Type 1 Child Go Out and Play

The possibility of heart disease is a nagging worry when you have achild with type 1 diabetes. Sixty-nine percent of type 1 childrenhave at least one cardiac risk factor.

After they reach theirtwenties, they are five times more likely to die from cardiovascularor cerebrovascular disease than their peers.  But recent researchindicates that something as simple as vigorous play for at least ahalf hour a few times a week can reduce such children's risk factorsrelated to blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.

To arrive at this conclusion, German and Austrian researchersanalyzed 23,000 children between the ages of three and eighteenyears. They found that the more active the children were, the lesslikely they were to have high cholesterol and triglycerides. Beingactive at least once or twice weekly also made children less likelyto have high blood pressure than their sedentary friends.

Studies have previously shown that the more time kids with type 1spend watching television, the higher their A1c's are likely to be.When combined with this most recent research, it's clear thatfrequent games of tag and hide-and-go-seek are not only fun – they'realso critical to good health.

Sources: Medline Plus; Diabetes Care, August 2007

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