Childhood obesity related endothelial dysfunction : an update on pathophysiological mechanisms and diagnostic advancements
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Pediatric research. - Basel
University of Antwerp
Childhood obesity jeopardizes a healthy future for our societys children as it is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality later on in life. Endothelial dysfunction, the first step in the development of atherosclerosis, is already present in obese children and may well represent a targetable risk factor. Technological advancements in recent years have facilitated non-invasive measurements of endothelial homeostasis in children. Thereby this topic ultimately starts to get the attention it deserves. In this paper, we aim to summarize the latest insights on endothelial dysfunction in childhood obesity. We discuss methodological advancements in peripheral endothelial function measurement and newly identified diagnostic markers of vascular homeostasis. Finally, future challenges and perspectives are set forth on how to efficiently tackle the catastrophic rise in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that will be inflicted on obese children if they are not treated optimally.