Obese adolescents who do not get enough sleep may be at an increased risk of heart disease and other health issues, compared with other obese teens who get more sleep, a new study suggests.
Researchers looked at the teens' risk factors for developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and found that the less sleep the adolescents got, the higher their "cardiometabolic risk score," which is a measure that combines the risk of developing these conditions into a single number.
"More sleep means less risk," said study author Heidi IglayReger, supervisor of the Physical Activity Laboratory at the Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center.
In the study, the researchers examined 37 obese teenagers, ages 11 to 17. The research team measured the participants' body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure and blood sugar. They also gave each participant an accelerometer — a device used to measure people's physical activity and sleep patterns.
It turned out that only five of the teenagers in the study slept for at least 8.5 hours per night, which is the recommended minimum for this age group. The remaining kids slept about 7 hours per night.
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