Obese teenage girls are nine times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, and are at increased risk of heart disease and heart attack compared to their peers, a new report claims.

Scientists at the University of California looked at more than 1,700 teenagers aged 13 to 17, and found that obesity has much greater impact on teenage girls than on boys.

The study also found that overweight boys were three and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure compared to peers of a regular weight.

Professor Rudi Ortiz, who presented the findings at a conference in Mississippi, said: "Overall, there is a higher likelihood that those who present with both higher BMI and blood pressure will succumb to cardiovascular complications as adults.

"The findings suggest that obese females may have a higher risk of developing these problems than males."

Posted by Robert Mair