THE PEDIATRIC ASPECTS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS

 

Summary: Almost all persons have aortic fatty steaks by the age of 10. 

 

Journal of A therosclerosis Research 251 Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam – Printed in The Netherlands

THE PEDIATRIC ASPECTS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS

J. P. STRONG AND H. C. McGILL JR.

Departments of Pathology, Louisiana State University Medical Center and The University of Texas Medical School, San Antonio, Texas ( U . S . A . )

(Received October 24th, 1968}

SUMMARY

Atherosclerosis begins ill childhood with the appearance of aortic fatty streaks. Aortic fatty streaks of some degree are present in practically all individuals from every human population that has been studied. The average amount of aortic intimal surface involved with fatty streaks does not differ much among human populations.

Coronary fatty streaks begin to form in adolescence. Most persons 20-29 years of age have coronary fatty streaks of some degree, even if they are from low socioeco- nomic strata.

While fatty streaking is clinically harmless and potentially reversible, the pro- gression of fatty streaks to more advanced lesions is a critical stage of atherosclerosis. This conversion takes place at earlier ages in populations with high morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease.

The development of fibrous plaques begins in the twenties. Therefore, even though control programs which attempt to reduce coronary heart disease by prevent- ing atherosclerosis may meet some success when applied to middle-aged persons, these programs should be directed toward individuals in the twenties and thirties for maximum benefits. Dietary habits that retard atherosclerosis should be established in childhood.

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