Childhood Obesity and Autonomic Dysfunction: Risk for Cardiac Morbidity and Mortality

Duanping Liao, Sol M. Rodríguez-Colón, Fan He, Edward O. Bixler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The epidemic of childhood obesity is becoming a major predictor for risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and mortality during adulthood. Alterations in the morphology of the heart due to obesity could be a predictor for the dysfunction of cardiac autonomic modulation (CAM). A number of epidemiologic studies have evaluated the effect of obesity and CAM in children, finding that obesity impaired the balance of CAM toward a sympathetic overflow and reduced parasympathetic modulation, a significant predictor of CVD morbidity and mortality in adults. Lifestyle modifications, for example long-term exercise programs, have been shown to improve CAM in the obese. This review discusses the recent evidence on childhood and adolescent obesity and its impact on CAM, as well as how early lifestyle changes could help improve CAM, which may in turn reduce the burden of CVD in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number342
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 11 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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