Heart disease is normally associated with middle age, but the early warning signs were detected in children between the ages of two and 12.
Two-thirds of the 307 children studied had a least one early symptom such as high blood pressure.
The findings were presented in Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Doireann Maddock, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, said:
"Although it was a small study, the findings leave a bad taste in the mouth.
"However, this is a problem that can be addressed by stopping young people becoming overweight and obese in the first place.
"Highlighting the importance of healthy eating and physical activity from an early age will help protect the heart health of future generations."
With thanks to www.bbc.co.uk
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