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Kids' wrist size might predict heart health--study

Researchers found that there was a strong association between wrist size and insulin levels in the blood. The children with bigger wrists had higher insulin levels.

Wrist size could be indicative of whether your child will be at increased risk of heart disease later in life, states a new study.

An intriguing piece of research published April 26 in the journal 'Circulation' states that wrist size could determine kids' insulin level and chances of cardiovascular problem when they grow up.

Researchers found that bigger wrist size is associated with higher insulin levels. Higher levels of it could make the body insulin resistant, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

"We found a very easy-to-detect, new method to measure insulin resistance in children," stated study researcher Dr. Raffaella Buzzetti, professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

She added that bone plays a very active role in metabolism, as it “can secrete hormones and receive messages from other glands.”

Researchers said that the next step will be to check the wrist size of kids with healthy weight, as wrist circumference could be a better predictor of health problems.

Bigger wrist size may mean high insulin levels
To determine the link between wrist size and heart health, researchers conducted a study on obese and overweight kids and teens (average age 10 years).

All the subjects underwent blood tests to measure the level of insulin. Also, their wrists were measured with a cloth tape measure.

Further, 51 participants underwent nuclear magnetic resonance imaging for a more accurate measure of the wrist bone.

Researchers found that there was a strong association between wrist size and insulin levels in the blood. The children with bigger wrists had higher insulin levels.

They added that wrist size is more accurate measure of checking insulin resistance than just measuring body mass index (BMI).

The bigger wrists could be the result of increased bone production due to higher insulin levels.

Further research needed
Researchers said that the next step will be to check the wrist size of kids with healthy weight, as wrist circumference could be a better predictor of health problems.

Dr. Buzzetti stated, “One of the major priorities of clinical practice today is the identification of young people at increased risk for insulin resistance.

"This is a very, very strong link. Wrist circumference mirrors insulin resistance levels.”

She added that wrist size can be easily measured, and if present study findings are backed by future studies, wrist circumference could someday be used to predict heart disease risk.