High levels of cholesterol in girls early in life are associated with increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life, say researchers based in Philadelphia and New Orleans.
The study recorded data on relative weight and CVD risk factors for nonobese 5- to 6-year-old black and Caucasian children, who were then assessed three and six years later.
Body mass index (BMI) increased more in girls with high cholesterol levels during the six years of follow-up. This association was not observed in boys.
“Associations between BMI and the risk factors blood pressure, insulin levels, and blood lipids were observed to be stronger with increasing age and, in some cases, stronger in [children and girls with high cholesterol],” write the researchers.
—American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2002