Population trends toward increasing cardiovascular risk factors in Canadian adolescents

J Pediatr. 2010 Nov;157(5):837-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.05.014. Epub 2010 Jun 17.


Objective: To determine prevalence and cross-sectional trends over time for cardiovascular risk factors in Canadian adolescents.

Study design: Cross-sectional trends in cardiovascular risk and lifestyle factors were gathered annually in 14- to 15-year-old students in the Niagara region, Ontario, Canada.

Results: A total of 20 719 adolescents were screened between 2002 and 2008. The proportion of obese adolescents (>95th percentile for body mass index [BMI]) increased significantly, by +0.34%/year (P = .002). The proportions of adolescents with borderline high cholesterol (4.4-5.1 mmol/L) (+0.57%/year; P <.001) and with high cholesterol (≥5.2 mmol/L) (+0.43%/year; P <.001) both increased significantly over time. The proportion of adolescents with prehypertension decreased by -0.23%/year (P = .02), whereas the proportion of those with stage I hypertension (5%-6%) or stage II hypertension (2%-4%) remained constant. The proportion of adolescents classified as being at high cardiovascular risk increased by +0.67%/year (P <.001). Family history, low levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, poor nutrition, and lower socioeconomic status were all independently and negatively associated with all aspects of cardiovascular risk.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of 14- to 15-year-old Canadian adolescents have at least one cardiovascular risk factor, and the cross-sectional trends worsened during the period 2002-2008.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors