Wrist Size in Kids May Indicate Future Heart Disease Risk

Filed under: In The News, Diet & Fitness, Health

heart risk factors

Its all in the wrists! Credit: Getty Images

"It's all in the wrist" has new meaning for overweight kids.

Researchers have found the fatter the wrist size, the higher the risk for heart disease.

Teeny, tiny wrists signal good heath, according to Italian researchers who have discovered large wrist sizes in teens are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Larger wrists signal high levels of insulin, the hormone that gets sugar and glucose into cells, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, in turn, is known to put people at risk for heart disease, according to MyHealthNewsDaily.

"We found a very easy-to-detect, new method to measure insulin resistance in children," researcher Dr. Raffaella Buzzetti, professor in the department of clinical sciences at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, tells the site.

The findings suggest that doctors can measure wrist size in children to predict a future risk for heart disease, Buzzetti adds. The results of the study will be published later this month in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

The researchers studied 477 children and teens with an average age of 10. They measured their wrists and body mass index, or BMI.

The larger the wrist size, the higher the children's insulin levels. Turns out, wrist circumference measurements were a more accurate indicator of insulin resistance than BMI, according to MyHealthNewsDaily.

The reason wrist size is an indicator, researchers say, is that insulin regulates bone growth, and the higher the insulin, the larger the bones -- wrist bones included.

"One of the major priorities of clinical practice today is the identification of young people at increased risk for insulin resistance," Buzzetti tells the site. "This is a very, very strong link. Wrist circumference mirrors insulin resistance levels."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.