Risk profiles of lipids, blood pressure, and anthropometric measures in childhood and adolescence: project heartBeat!

BMC Obes. 2016 Feb 18:3:9. doi: 10.1186/s40608-016-0090-8. eCollection 2016.


Background: Many common risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) originate in childhood and adolescence. There is a lack of literature examining variability within study populations, as well as a shortage of simultaneous analyses of CVD risk factors operating in tandem.

Methods: We used data from Project HeartBeat!-a multi-cohort longitudinal growth study of children and adolescents in the US - for assessing multiple profiles for lipids, blood pressure, and anthropometric measures. Principal component functional curve analysis methods were used to summarize trajectories of multiple measurements. Subsequently less favorable health (high risk) and more favorable (low risk) groups from both female and male cohorts were identified and compared to US national norms.

Results: Compared to national norms, the high risk groups have increased waist circumference, body mass index, and percent body fat as well as higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The risk profiles also exhibit patterns of convergence and divergence across the high and low risk groups as a function of age.

Conclusions: These observations may have clinical and public health implications in identifying groups of children at high risk of CVD for earlier interventions.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Cardiovascular risk profiles; Health factors; Multivariable health factor profiles; NHANES III; Principal component functional curve.