Some risk factors for heart disease

One study of Australian women and their children found that a woman's smoking habits during pregnancy, her decision on breast-feeding, and even her weight affected a child's blood pressure, a major risk factor for &to=http:// ' target=_blank>heart disease.

And a study that hits closer to home found that a startlingly large percentage of American &to=http:// ' target=_blank>teens have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and bad cholesterol readings. It's a finding the lead researcher attributes to a lack of parental guidance.

Both studies appear in the Oct. 12 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation, informs Forbes.

&to=http:// ' target=_blank>Schools need to be more active in teaching heart-healthy behavior and they should offer more physical education and healthful meals, a new American Heart Association statement urges.

"The main way to prevent overweight is through physical activity and good nutrition and schools provide a very important avenue to reach the majority of youth," said Laura L. Hayman, chairwoman of the writing group for the statement and a member of the association's Committee on Atherosclerosis, Hypertension and Obesity in Youth.

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