Objectives: To examine tracking and predictiveness of childhood lipid levels, blood pressure, and body mass index for risk profile in adulthood and the best age to measure the childhood risk factor levels.
Study design: Study subjects were participants of the longitudinal Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, started in 1980 (age 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 years). A total of 2204 subjects participated to the 27-year follow-up in 2007 (age, 30 to 45 years).
Results: In both sex groups and in all age groups, childhood risk factors were significantly correlated with levels in adulthood. The correlation coefficients for cholesterol levels and body mass index were 0.43 to 0.56 (P < .0001), and for blood pressure and triglyceride levels, they were 0.21 to 0.32 (P < .0001). To recognize children with abnormal adult levels, the National Cholesterol Education Program and the National High Blood Pressure Education Program cutoff points for lipid and blood pressure values and international cutoff points for overweight and obesity were used. Age seemed to affect associations. The best sensitivity and specificity rates were observed in 12- to 18-year-old subjects.
Conclusions: Childhood blood pressure, serum lipid levels, and body mass index correlate strongly with values measured in middle age. These associations seemed to be stronger with increased age at measurements.
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