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One of the hazards of youth is that many in this age group believe that they are immune to health problems that more often affect the elderly and people in middle age. As a result, teens and preteens tend to consume salty and sugary foods, a likely contributor to the nation’s obesity epidemic.
However, adolescents should note the findings of a recent study that was conducted at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The research suggests that type 2 diabetes begins to negatively affect heart function soon after the blood sugar disorder sets in.
A team of scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to observe the cardiovascular function in a group of teens: some had type 2 diabetes, others were obese but did not have the disorder and others had normal body weight and were free of diseases.
They found that teens with diabetes had hindered heart flexibility when exercising on a stationary bike.
“We showed that the heart’s pumping function is strong, but it is not filling as well as normal between heart beats. This is known as diastolic dysfunction,” said lead author Teresa Pinto, M.D.