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Korean Circ J. 2010 Jan;40(1):1-9. doi: 10.4070/kcj.2010.40.1.1. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease beginning in childhood.

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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.


Although the clinical manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, appear from middle age, the process of atherosclerosis can begin early in childhood. The early stage and progression of atherosclerosis in youth are influenced by risk factors that include obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and smoking, and by the presence of specific diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and Kawasaki disease (KD). The existing evidence indicates that primary prevention of atherosclerotic disease should begin in childhood. Identification of children at risk for atherosclerosis may allow early intervention to decrease the atherosclerotic process, thereby preventing or delaying CVD. This review will describe the origin and progression of atherosclerosis in childhood, and the identification and management of known risk factors for atherosclerotic CVD in children and young adults.


Adolescent; Atherosclerosis; Cardiovascular diseases; Child; Primary prevention

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