Dr. Joana Kist-van Holthe of the Department of Public and Occupational Health, at the University Medical Center, Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a nationwide surveillance study from July 2005 to July 2007. Pediatricians in the Netherlands were asked to report all new cases of severe obesity in children ages 2-18 to the Dutch Pediatric Surveillance Unit.
Pediatricians were asked to complete a questionnaire for every severely obese child regarding sociodemographic characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and blood lipids.
Eighty-seven percent to 94 percent of the pediatricians completed the surveys for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
The researchers found 500 children with newly diagnosed severe obesity were reported.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, found 67 percent had at least one cardiovascular risk factor -- 56 percent had high blood pressure, 14 percent has high blood glucose, 0.7 percent had type 2 diabetes and up to 54 percent had low high-density lipoprotein, the "good," cholesterol.
In addition, 62 percent of severely obese children ages 12 or younger had one or more cardiovascular risk factors, the study said.