Harvard Heart Letter

Obese teens' hearts in trouble

Are your children or grandchildren caught up in America's obesity epidemic? If so, they may be on the fast track to heart diseases usually seen in older adults.

New imaging techniques show that the hearts of obese adolescents are undergoing changes that could soon put them on an irreversible path to heart failure.

The study, led by Michael Jerosch-Herold, associate professor of radiology at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Jerosch-Herold's team recently helped develop cardiac MRI techniques able to measure the early disease-related changes in heart structure known as extracellular volume fraction.

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